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Venomtech partners with drug discovery firm Metrion Biosciences in pain relief research using its venom from spiders and snakes

By Chris Price

A spine-chilling technology company with the largest library of venom in the UK has partnered with a drug discovery company to launch pioneering research.

Venomtech – which has labs packed with snakes, spiders and scorpions – has teamed up with Metrion Biosciences to share resources and expertise.

The Sandwich-based company and its new partner aim to identify ways to create pain relief drugs by testing how nerve receptors ‘talk’ to one another, through what’s known an ion channel drug discovery research.

A Mexican Beauty Tarantula in the Venomtech lab

A Mexican Beauty Tarantula in the Venomtech lab

Ion channels are key components in a wide variety of biological processes that involve rapid changes in cells.

In the search for new drugs ion channels are a frequent target. They are prominent components of the nervous system.

Steve Trim, founder and managing director of Venomtech, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to combine our knowledge and expertise in venom-based drug discovery with the great team at Metrion and their electrophysiology excellence.

“This combination of skills is set to solve many of the challenges of getting good drugs for ion channel targets.”

Stephen Trim with boxes of spiders

Stephen Trim with boxes of spiders

Dr Andrew Southan, head of commercial operations at Cambridge-based Metrion, said: “Via this partnership we can rapidly explore the UK’s largest venom collection for novel pharmacological tools for use in ion channel assay development, validation and drug discovery research.”

A Mexican Beauty Tarantula

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