Metrion Biosciences acquires rights to small molecule potassium channel inhibitors from Japan Tobacco Inc.

• Acquired intellectual property rights have potential application in a variety of clinical indications, including auto-immune disorders and neurodegenerative diseases

• Metrion now owns all patented and unpatented IP developed during previous collaboration between Metrion and Japan Tobacco Inc.

CAMBRIDGE, UK I January 29, 2018 I Metrion Biosciences Ltd (“Metrion”), the specialist ion channel contract research and drug discovery company, announced today that it has acquired a portfolio of more than 2,000 small molecule potassium channel inhibitors from Japan Tobacco Inc. (“JT”). The portfolio includes compounds covered by five separate patent applications, together with several new unpatented chemical series.

The novel compounds were designed and tested during the three years of the Metrion team’s collaboration with JT. Although the lead compounds were shown to be potent inhibitors of the specific ion channel target, they did not meet JT’s criteria for product development. Accordingly, Metrion has now acquired JT’s rights to the compounds and the research data generated during the collaboration. JT will receive an upfront fee, and milestone and/or royalty payments, dependent on successful further development and commercialisation. Further terms of the deal are not disclosed.

Metrion’s scientific team has substantial experience of potassium channel inhibitors, having been responsible for the discovery and early development of three novel potassium channel drugs for atrial fibrillation. Working on the portfolio of small molecule potassium channel inhibitors, the Company has identified potential applications in a variety of clinical indications, including auto-immune disorders and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Dr Marc Rogers, Chief Scientific Officer, Metrion Biosciences, commented: “We have had a very productive research collaboration with JT and thank them for the opportunity to acquire the previous joint intellectual property. The knowledge gained during the collaboration forms a strong starting point for further development of modulators of disease-relevant potassium ion channels.”

About Metrion Biosciences

Metrion Biosciences is a specialist ion-channel contract research organisation and drug discovery business. The Company provides customers with access to a range of high quality ion channel assays on a fee-for-service or collaboration basis. Metrion Biosciences’ specialist ion channel expertise includes an industry leading panel of in vitro cardiac ion channel safety assays, translational native cell and phenotypic assays for neurological and cardiotoxicity testing, and a range of other ion channel screening services such as cell line development and optimisation. Metrion Biosciences is able to provide tailored assay formats, data analysis and reporting solutions, effective project management and quality assured data packages.

SOURCE: Metrion Biosciences

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