Join Professor Ruth Roberts and Dr Michael Morton for EUROTOX Workshop

| ApconiX


EUROTOX 2021 Virtual Congress will take place between the 27th of September and the 1st of October.

“Can We Panelize Seizure” Workshop

This workshop will take place on Thursday 30th September at 1pm BST (British Summer Time).

The workshop will be chaired by Ruth Roberts and Jennifer Pierson.

Talks and Speakers include:

“Seizure liability in drug discovery and development: current state of play” – Dr Jean-Pierre Valentin, UCB, Braine-l’Alleud, Belgium

“Exploring the utility of an ion channel panel for detecting seizure liability”- Dr Michael Morton, ApconiX

“Development of seizure prediction methods using in vitro microelectrode array (MEA)” – Dr Ikuro Suzuki, Tohoku Institute of Technology, Sendai, Japan

Followed by a Panel Discussion focusing on key questions: confidence in the biology, confidence in the robustness of the assay and confidence in translation to the clinic and the patient.


Seizure liability remains a significant cause of attrition in drug discovery and development, leading to loss of competitiveness, delays and increased costs. Current detection methods usually rely on observations made in the nonclinical rodent and non-rodent studies required to support clinical trials. It would be far preferable to have an earlier prediction of seizurogenic risk that could be used to eliminate liabilities early in discovery while there are still options in chemistry. Two approaches offer exciting opportunities: microelectrode array is now able to detect seizurogenic signals in iPSC-derived Cortical Neural Stem Cells differentiated to electrically active cortical neurons. This offers great potential to screen for seizurogenic liability in an in vitro system. A second approach could be based on an understanding of the neuronal ion channels implicated in the seizurogenic response. There is clear evidence for the involvement of ion channels in seizure. Genetic studies have pointed to a role for voltage-gated sodium and potassium channels and the ligand-gated ion channels, GABA-A and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Pharmacologically, a number of ion channel modulators are known to be seizurogenic such as Chlorpromazine. Recently, great progress has been made in developing these in vitro seizure models and in characterizing the ion channels both at the expressional and at the functional level. These data may provide the opportunity to panelize seizure by creating a panel of ion channel assays that predict seizure, linked to an in vitro assessment, with the ultimate aim of eliminating compounds predicted to be associated with the pro-seizurogenic state. This workshop will address the issue, the basic science and its application. The panel discussion that rounds off this workshop will provide the opportunity for the speakers and the audience to address key challenges for these novel approaches such as confidence in the biology, confidence in the robustness of the assay and confidence in translation to the clinic and the patient. It will be of interest to academia, industry, CROs and regulators who wish to learn more about these exciting, new and high-impact developments in drug discovery and development.

More details of the full EUROTOX programme.