The Biophysical Society 68th Annual Meeting

Join us for the Biophysical Society 68th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 9-14, 2024, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where you can meet us at booth #811. The Biophysical Society Annual Meeting is the largest educational and networking event for those involved in the interdisciplinary field of biophysics.

Time:      February 9 – 14, 2024

Venue:   Pennsylvania Convention Center

We look forward to seeing you in Philly!

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Drug Discovery for Ion Channels XXIV

Discover the Future of Ion Channel Drug Discovery!

Join us as we co-host the “Satellite Meeting” at the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting. Explore cutting-edge advancements in ion channel drug discovery, featuring presentations from leading companies and academic experts. Revolutionize your understanding of therapeutic drug targets and be part of the collaborative innovation shaping the future of this dynamic field. Don’t miss out—stay tuned for updates on this must-attend event!

Time:    February 9, 2024 – 8:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Venue:  Room 107AB, Pennsylvania Convention Center

Among the many speakers, we can mention Edward Humphries from Maxion Therapeutics, who will be talking about KnotBoides, and Patric Vaelli from Harvard Medical School, who will present his work on reversing the use-dependence of NaV1.8 inhibitors. See the agenda here.



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Sophion Mini Symposium

We are happy to host a mini ion channel symposium with the headline “Recent Advances in Automated Patch Clamp Assays Using Primary and iPSC-Derived Cells; and Virtual Screening for Modulators of KCa, Nav1.7, and GABA-A Channels: Does it Work?.

Successful ion channel drug discovery requires the integration of multiple technologies and workflows. Sophion Bioscience is a leader in automated patch clamp technology, providing medium and high-throughput patch clamp systems to the drug discovery industry and academia. The QPatch and Qube are fully automated patch clamp systems, executing simultaneous 16, 48 or 384 parallel patch clamp recordings in conjunction with computer-controlled liquid handling and onboard cell handling. The QPatch Compact is a semi-automated patch clamp system that can execute eight individual or simultaneous patch clamp recordings. Sophion provides customers with robust ion channel and electrophysiological workflows for the drug development of ion channel targets.

Time:          February 12, 2024 – 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM

Venue:       Room 103C, Pennsylvania Convention Center

Speakers: Daniel Sauter, Scientific Sales Manager, Sophion Bioscience A/S; Heike Wulff, Professor, University of California, Davis, and Edd Humphries, Principal Scientist, Maxion Therapeutics.

During this workshop, speakers will provide insight into the use of these systems with primary and iPSC cells and the use of virtual screening compared to automated patch clamp in the drug discovery process. We will be serving a light breakfast with beverages. Registration is not required.

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Poster presentations

Kyle R. Jensen, Application Scientist, Sophion Bioscience, Inc. will present a poster with the title: “Using Automated Patch Clamp technology to assess VGCC function and modulation by cannabinoids”.

Time:                    February 12, 2024 – 1:45 PM – 3:45 PM

Poster board:      Exhibit hall AB – LB66


There is mounting evidence that cannabinoids can be used to treat harmful neurological conditions like epilepsy and autism. One means by which cannabinoids are thought to excerpt their therapeutic benefits is through the manipulation of ion channels. Voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs), for instance, play important roles in neurotransmitter release, synaptic transmission, and neural plasticity and thus represent a major therapeutic target for many neurological diseases. Multiple types of cannabinoids are thought to interact with, and inhibit, VGCCs, but there are still many questions regarding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of these interactions and the efficacy of cannabinoids (especially rare cannabinoids and synthetically created cannabinoids) in modulating ion channel function. With the goal of determining how rare cannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids can modulate VGCC function, Sophion Bioscience has partnered with the Bladen Lab to optimize an assay which uses automated patch clamp (APC) electrophysiology to measure T-type VGCC currents in HEK293 cells. We show that Sophion’s QPatch Compact APC robot can reliably record currents from up to eight cells in parallel and that our Qube APC robot can record from hundreds of cells at once. We demonstrate that these currents follow biophysical characteristics as described in the literature and are sensitive to drugs that interfere with VGCC function. Using both APC platforms, we show that cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidivarinic acid (CBDVA), and cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), each inhibit VGCCs, and that our data is comparable not only between APC platforms, but with data gathered using manual patch clamp as well. By understanding how T-type VGCCs are modulated by cannabinoids, we hope to aid in the creation and characterization of cannabinoid drugs that could potentially be used to treat conditions like epilepsy.

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Mads P. G. Korsgaard, Global Product Manager, Sophion Bioscience A/S, will present the following poster titled “Towards more physiological assays: Using high throughput Automated Patch Clamp for compound screening in primary hippocampal neurons”

Time:                    February 13, 2024 – 1:45 PM

Poster board:       Exhibit hall AB – LB72


Neuroscience is a notoriously difficult therapeutic area – neuropharmacology programs have the lowest success rate within therapeutic approvals by the FDA. One of the key factors is the dearth of relevant disease models for testing and investigating pathophysiological mechanisms. Dissociated primary mice neurons are excellent modelling systems for neurobiological, biophysical, and pharmacological evaluations. The presence of a wide variety of ion channels and receptors ensures a physiologically relevant analysis of cell response and signaling. To date, patch clamp is the only technique that provides direct functional, temporal and spatial information of a cell’s electrical and signaling properties. In addition, the Qube automated patch clamp (APC) platform enables the possibility of a high throughput screening (HTS) for thousands of compounds by recording 384 cells simultaneously. In this study, isolated primary hippocampal neurons from mice were patched on the Qube 384 APC system. Using an optimized cell dissociation protocol to obtain healthy cell membranes for patch-clamp, we obtained a whole-cell success rate of 65% ± 6.5%. Among these cells, 69% ± 21% expressed sodium (Nav) currents and out of the latter group, 44% ± 6% of cells showed an >100 pA response to 100 µM GABA. Furthermore, action potential firings were recorded from 31% of the cells that passed the quality criteria filtering using the current-clamp mode of the system. Finally, in the GABA-responsive cells, we characterized the effect of 12 GABA receptor modulators on responses to sub-µM GABA concentrations.

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