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Simon TATE"Drug discovery for voltage-gated ion channels, from cloning to the clinic"

Abstract :

Chronic pain remains poorly treated, overall responder rates and safety of current therapies are key issues, often leaving many patients without an effective therapy.
Analysis of drug development failures indicates that they occur primarily in early clinical phases, and are mostly due to a lack of translation of efficacy from animal models to patients. To ensure sustainable development and preclinical to clinical transition in the pain area, a more effective approach is required, in order to identify drugs with the higher efficacy and responder rate demanded.
We are now able to express, characterize and assay many targets which were previously intractable and this is opening up new areas of pain research. High throughput screening approaches allow millions of compounds to be tested against a specific target, however care must be taken to strive for the most ‘authentic’ in vitro assay system. Over the last few years we have seen the advent of high throughput electrophysiology, which has enabled new discovery campaigns for a ‘drug’ rich target class such as ion channels and which will provide novel and improved compounds for further investigation.
This presentation will focus on the evolution of cell based screening for pain drug discovery and will be illustrated with examples from voltage-gated ion channels. In addition, applications of native tissue and primary cell screening will be discussed. Finally I will discuss advances in clinical science which are changing the way in which conduct pain clinical studies.

Selected publications

Simon Tate is currently Vice President and Head of the Pain and Neuroexcitability, Discovery Performance Unit at GlaxoSmithKline, based in Harlow, UK. In this role Simon has the accountability for pain, migraine and epilepsy drug discovery from target identification through to proof of concept in phase II clinical trials. Prior to this role he led the Psychiatry and Neurology, Discovery Technology Group at GlaxoSmithKline. Simon’s notable scientific discoveries, include the expression cloning of the human Angiotensin II and CCK-B receptors and the identification and analysis of novel sodium channels and vanilloid receptors.

Frédéric Nagy