Our collaboration partner Metrion Biosciences offers high quality screening services using Nanion's Instruments

logo Metrion

Metrion Biosciences Limited is a specialist ion channel contract research organisation (CRO) and drug discovery services company based in the Cambridge UK biocluster. We aim to be a leading provider of high quality ion channel screening and expertise to the global life sciences industry. Our clients range from academic institutions and disease charities to start-up, biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Our team of highly skilled staff have decades of experience making and using ion channel cell lines in manual and automated patch clamp (APC) electrophysiology assays (using APC platforms since 2003), as well as measuring ion channel function in native rodent and human tissue (e.g. cardiac cells, dorsal root ganglion neurons). In recent years we have developed and validated translational assays employing human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived (hiPSC) cardiomyocytes and neurons on manual patch clamp and phenotypic plate-based platforms. This powerful combination of biological and biophysical technologies is set to transform the predictivity and success of ion channel drug discovery. Metrion is a leading member of the FDA-HESI CiPA consortium, reflecting our commitment and industry expertise in the field of cardiac safety screening.


Metrion's services include:

  • Running high quality ion channel cardiac safety and drug discovery assays on a variety of automated patch clamp platforms, including multiple Patchliners (expert users since 2007);
  • CiPA-compliant, phenotypic human iPSC-derived cardiomyocyte studies on plate-based MEA and impedance platforms including the Nanion CardioExcyte 96;
  • Setting-up, optimising, validating and running screening assays for both voltage- and ligand-gated ion channel targets on manual and automated patch clamp platforms, including Nanion Patchliner;
  • Complete CiPA ‘big 6’ human cardiac ion channel panel (hERG, Nav1.5 peak and late, Cav1.2; Kv4.3_KChip, KvLQT1_minK, Kir2.1) on manual and automated patch clamp platforms;
  • Manual patch of heterologous cell lines, neuroblastoma and other semi-native cell lines, native rodent and human neurons, cardiomyocytes, and T-cells, and human IPSC-derived cardiomyocytes and neurons. Our expert scientists can carry out voltage clamp of ionic conductances and current clamp recordings of action potentials and cell excitability for target validation and mechanism-of-action studies. Some manual patch rigs include temperature control and rapid perfusion capabilities;
  • Fluorescence screening of voltage- and ligand-gated targets on plate-based imaging platforms to support CRO client needs and long-term pharma collaborations; and
  • Creating and optimising ion channel cell lines (cardiac safety, neuronal) to deliver high quality data on manual and automated patch clamp platforms, including Nanion Patchliner.

Ion channel screening and drug discovery services:

Metrion’s focus as a CRO partner is on delivering high quality data and proven ion channel and drug discovery expertise, using low and medium throughput electrophysiology platforms. All of our staff are academically trained scientists and most have a PhD and/or real-world drug discovery experience, meaning we speak the language and understand the needs of a wide variety of clients. In particular, Metrion staff have been closely involved with developing and utilising automated patch clamp platforms and ion channel screening assays since 2003. We have been using Nanion Patchliners in a drug discovery setting since 2007, with one major EU pharmaceutical company collaboration running continuously since 2010 with primary ion channel target, gene family selectivity, and mechanism-of-action assays all running on multiple Patchliner machines, to help bring a lead compound and a back-up series through to successful preclinical development.

Our speciality is ion channels and patch clamp electrophysiology, but we also have broader expertise with human iPSC safety and disease models and phenotypic platforms. As a small company of around15 scientists, Metrion are keen proponents of collaboration, and achieving greater synergy by partnering with other specialised providers. This includes stem cell companies and electrophysiology platform suppliers. As an example of this approach, Metrion and Nanion were SME partners on an EU H2020 Eurostars2 collaborative project with Leiden Medical University, validating atrial and ventricular iPSC cardiomyocyte reagents for cardiac safety and disease models, and helping test current clamp features on the SyncroPatch HTS automated patch clamp platform and validate the new CardioExcyte96 impedance and MEA platform.


Statement about Nanion platforms from Dr. Marc Rogers, CSO of Metrion Biosciences:

"It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to work with Niels and the Nanion team over the past decade. I firmly believe that our two small, but independently minded ion channel focused companies, share a similar business ethos and a clear focus on delivering cost-effective solutions to our customers. In our extensive use of the Patchliner platform since 2007, my teams have benefited from the dedication of Nanion’s service engineers, application scientists, and bespoke data acquisition routines, whilst Nanion have benefited from seeing their products applied and adapted to real-world drug discovery projects and assays. This fruitful working relationship has now been extended to our use of the CardioExcyte 96 phenotypic assay platform, which we utilise to develop and validate human iPSC cardiomyocyte cell lines and assays to meet the post-hERG, predictive cardiac safety testing needs of the drug discovery industry”.

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