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).
There is an increasing recognition within the pharmaceutical industry of the immense potential for ion channels as a drug target class. Advances in the understanding of the human genome, combined with the introduction of higher throughput electrophysiology platforms, promises a wealth of new opportunities to design potent and selective ion channel targeted therapeutics.