Drug discovery focused on ion-channel proteins began generating great value for pharmaceutical R&D programmes more than 30 years ago, giving rise to medicines still important in the pharmacopeia for treating human disease.
Two new third-generation automated patch clamp (APC) systems capable of high throughput processing (10,000 data points per eight-hour day) and full robotic integration have been recently launched. The resulting wider choice of primarily 384 APC systems has the potential to intensify competition in the market for APC consumables (patch plates).
The pharmaceutical industry is facing ever-growing difficulties in developing new drugs and bringing them to market1,2. Many factors stand in the way of R&D productivity, not least of which are shrinking budgets. Yet one of the most pressing challenges continues to be the issue of ensuring that new drug candidates have an acceptable safety profile.