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Ion Channel Drug Discovery: Challenges and Future Directions

Erdemli, Gul, Priest, Birgit and Wickenden, Alan (2012) Ion Channel Drug Discovery: Challenges and Future Directions. Future Medicinal Chemistry.


Ion channels are targets of many therapeutically useful agents, and worldwide sales of ion channel targeted drugs are estimated to be approximately $12 billion. Considering that over 400 genes encoding ion channel subunits have been identified, ion channels remain significantly under-exploited as therapeutic targets. This is at least partly due to limitations in assay technologies that provide high quality functional data in sufficient throughput to support screening and lead optimization. Will the recent developments in automated electrophysiology rectify this situation? What are other major limitations and can they be overcome? In this article, we review the status of ion channel drug discovery, discuss current challenges and propose alternative approaches that may facilitate the discovery of new drugs in the future.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2015 13:14
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2015 13:14