Drug Development Collaborations

Single cell electrophysiology

ICBC is the commercial arm of the Smooth Muscle Research Centre at Dundalk Institute of Technology, and has access through this collaboration to a number of highly qualified electrophysiologists. This group is the largest of its kind in Ireland and the UK, and has many years experience in single cell electrophysiology, including

  • developing protocols for isolation of single cells from many different tissue types
  • measuring whole cell and single channel activity in different configurations of patch clamp
  • dual recordings of intracellular calcium and ion channel activity

hERG liability testing

ICBC offer early screening services to evaluate the activity of new drugs on the potassium ion channel encoded by hERG, and the sodium ion channel (NaV1.5). These tests provide an indication of the cardiac toxicity profile and are carried out under physiologically relevant conditions. Click here for more detail.

Imaging collaborations

ICBC collaborates with imaging companies in a number of different ways. Collaborations for drug development includes investigation of new chemical entities on movement of intracellular ions imaged using confocal microscopy and specialized dyes. Expertise in monitoring ion channel modulation and its effect on movement of ions in relaxed and spontaneously active tissue is a core competence of this group, in addition to a core specialty in immunohistochemistry.

Molecular biology capacity

ICBC has recently built an expertise in molecular biology, including cell cloning and mutagenesis with the development of a dedicated facility and hiring of a leading molecular biologist. ICBC is developing cell lines for specific purposes and can work with companies and academics on specific cell lines of interest. The ability to undertake routine hERG channel liability testing is being developed and should be on line in 1Q10.

Organic chemistry initiatives

A new lab has been established, led by an organic chemist who is designing and synthsizing novel drug molecules. These drug candidates are designed to modulate large conductance potassium channels and will be of commercial value in the treatment of a number of smooth muscle related diseases. The most potent candidates are being advanced for application in urinary incontinence and are at the lead optimization stage of development.

Whole tissue (tension) recordings

ICBC are equipped to measure drug effects on muscle strips, primarily in animal tissue samples although in some cases human tissue can be sourced

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