Ion channels are protein structures found in nearly every cell of the human body. These channels span the cell membrane and regulate the flow of ions, charged particles such as sodium, potassium, calcium and chloride, into and out of cells. Currently, there are 35 drugs that modulate ion channels which are marketed by third parties for multiple therapeutic indications.
Icagen utilizes a target class approach to ion channel drug discovery. The company first starts with all potential ion channel targets, then seeks to identify applications to treat various diseases. They believe this approach provides for a more efficient drug discovery process. If a small molecule demonstrates activity in the animal model, the target is considered validated and the company initiates further medicinal chemistry efforts.
Icagen’s first-in-class drug candidates target specific ion channels across a wide range of therapeutic areas. With their compound ICA-105665, the company is currently conducting proof-of-concept studies in patients with photosensitive epilepsy and in volunteers subject to mildly painful stimuli. The company also has several compounds in preclinical development and many more in their discovery pipeline.
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