Ion Channel Research
The initial focus of Aurora Biomed was on high-throughput ion channel screening for drug discovery, ion channel technology so as to address the recent shift of resources in the pharmaceutical industry towards addressing drug safety issues earlier in the discovery process. The shift was compelled by the issue of drug-induced QT-prolongation and cardiac arrhythmias and the emergence of the S7B, E14 guidance documents for drug safety assessment. High-throughput screening (HTS) of test compounds early in the discovery process decreases costs.
The importance of hERG ion channel screening to drug development and the discovery of human ion channel genes through the Human Genome Project created significant interest in other ion channel targets. Ion channel dysfunction has been implicated in diseases and disorders such as cystic fibrosis, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, epilepsy, heart failure, hypertension, muscular sclerosis, obesity, schizophrenia, and sickle cell anemia. As a result, over 6 billion dollars in yearly sales and 15% of the top selling drugs are targeted at ion channels. In addition, over 500 human ion channel genes have been identified, yet only around 40 have been targeted for therapeutic effects. This suggests that the field of ion channel drug discovery will only increase in the coming years.
Applications of the ICR 8000 and ICR 12000 in ion channel research include voltage-gated potassium channels (hERG, Kv1.1, Kv1.4, Kv1.5, SKCa, BKCa), stretch-activated potassium channels, voltage-gated sodium channels (SCN5a, NaV1.2), and transporters (Na/K-ATPase, K-Cl Co-Transporter).
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1. High-Throughput Screening for Kv1.3 Channel Blockers Using an Improved FLIPR-Based Membrane-Potential Assay
2. Strategies for the real-time detection of Ca2+ channel events of single cells: recent advances and new possibilities