The leading experts in ion channels, ChanTest serves the drug-discovery and development needs of pharmaceutical and biotech customers worldwide. ChanTest offers integrated ion channel and GPCR services (both automated high-throughput and GLP), cell lines, membranes, and reagents that cover nearly half of the known drugable genome. ChanTest’s expanding library of cell lines is the most comprehensive in the world. Since its inception in 1998, ChanTest has safety tested more than 20,000 compounds for more than 500 global pharmaceutical and biotech companies. ChanTest works in partnership with customers to speed the drug-development process, save time and money, and ultimately – to help make better, safer drugs. Because of ChanTest’s seminal role in this field, along with the company’s uncompromising commitment to quality, ChanTest was named “most trusted fee-for-service provider” for ion channel screening in the HTStec Ion Channel Trends Survey for three years in a row.
Ion channel and GPCR testing
There are about 1000 genes encoding ion channels and GPCRs in the human genome, and countless more can be assembled from this gene collection. ChanTest scientists were the first to prove hERG as the target for adverse cardiac events linked to non-cardiac drugs: Seldane (terfenadine), Propulsid (cisapride), and Nizoral (ketoconazole), and ChanTest pioneered the development of functional, cell-based ion channel testing as a means to predict cardiac side effects produced by non-cardiac drugs. Such testing is now a standard component of regulatory submissions prior to the approval of drugs for use in humans. Ion channels and GPCRs are natural partners, critical and often-interrelated components of cell signaling. GPCRs are implicated in many diseases and targets of many modern medicinal drugs, while ion channels can be the source of unintended negative side effects. They can also serve as useful drug targets since ion channels control major bodily functions, including excitation, contraction, secretion, and fluid volume. Thus, while ion channels and ion channel-GPCR combinations have always been important as safety and discovery targets, access via the modern paradigm of high-throughput screening has not been previously available. ChanTest’s new integrated ion channel-GPCR services and reagents overcome this obstacle. ChanTest is now leading the next major advance in ion channel research and services by continuing to develop the world’s most comprehensive library or catalog of ion channel-expressing cell lines. ChanTest validates the structure, function, and pharmacology of each ion channel line using conventional and automated methods, and arranges them into Ion Channel Panels™ according to tissue (e.g., Cardiac Channel Panel™) or disease (e.g., Pain/Inflammation Channel Panel™). Now, for the first time, pharmaceutical and biotech companies can profile the efficacy and selectivity of drug leads against a broad set of ion channels in functional, cell-based assays: ChanTest can screen drug leads, or even large compound collections, against the entire Ion Channel Catalog or specific Ion Channel Panels™.
ChanTest provides its testing services to customers worldwide. Its secure licensed and accredited testing facilities, R&D laboratories, and corporate offices are located in Cleveland, Ohio. Its GPCR and cell culture scale-up operations are located in Rockville, Maryland.
ChanTest currently employs more than 70 people, including the world’s leading experts in ion channels and GPCRs. Over twenty hold PhD/MD degrees. Specialties include molecular and cell biology, chemistry, electrophysiology, physiology, pharmacology, biophysics, and related disciplines. ChanTest scientists have published more than 300 papers in peer-reviewed journals.
The market for ion channels and GPCRs services is estimated at about $500 million per year, while the reagent market is valued at about $300 million annually. Both are growing at double-digit rates. ChanTest serves all the major biotech and pharmaceutical companies worldwide with the world’s largest validated and optimized catalog of ion channels and GPCRs. ChanTest uses its catalog to provide a wide range of safety services from de-risking in early discovery to GLP (Good Laboratory Practice) preclinical cardiac risk assessment prior to the first use of the drug in humans. ChanTest also uses its catalog for primary and secondary screening of drug targets during drug discovery and development. In addition, ChanTest licenses ion channel and GPCR reagents to assist customers with discovery profiling. ChanTest ensures that the performance of each cell line is optimized to each customer’s preferred testing platform.
While there are a number of contract service organizations that offer small ion channel and GPCR components, ChanTest has no competitors that specialize exclusively in comprehensive or integrated ion channel and GPCR services. ChanTest’s large, experienced scientific staff has extensive ion channel and GPCR expertise. Indeed, the company employs the leading experts in ion channels and GPCRs who are dedicated to providing individual attention to serve each customer’s needs. ChanTest is equally committed to innovation. It is well into implementing a $10 million program to develop the world’s most extensive catalog of ion channels and GPCRs that have been fully validated for interrogation with functional, pharmacological, and biochemical assays.
Service and Product Pipeline?
ChanTest will be adding many new products to its reagents line. These will include division-arrested ion channels to complement its line of division-arrested GPCRs (EZCells™), membrane preparations resulting from large tissue culture scale-ups and large-scale cryopreservation of cell lines. ChanTest will be developing new services as well. These will include novel cell lines expressing combinations of ion channels and GPCRs, validated ion channel and GPCR panels for CNS, CVS and respiratory system de-risking, an expanded line of tagged ion channels for trafficking assays, and a broad set of validated electrogenic transporters.