Deep dive into biotechnology: As part of Metabolon’s biomarker testing agreement with Mayo Clinic

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Metabolon, based in Morrisville, will collaborate with the Mayo Clinic to develop new metabolomic biomarkers to detect various diseases.

Under a joint development agreement announced this week, Metabolon will analyze clinical samples from Mayo Clinic patients for disease biomarkers that Mayo will use in new diagnostic tests at its Mayo Clinic national laboratories.

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Both partners said they would initially focus on metabolite biomarkers indicative of inflammatory bowel disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Other potential collaborations could focus on biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, inflammatory arthritis and others.

“We are extremely excited to work with Mayo Clinic as they bring significant clinical strength and robust commercialization capabilities to this vital research,” said Rohan Hastie, Ph.D., president and CEO of Metabolon. “The collaboration with the Mayo Clinic has the potential to help both parties expand their cutting-edge research into the critical role of metabolomic biomarkers as valuable indicators of human health.”

Hastie noted that Mayo Clinic Laboratories is the third-largest reference and diagnostic laboratory in the United States, performing more than 25 million tests each year. The organization offers more than 3,800 diagnostic tests and pathology services to doctors and hospitals, and processes up to 40,000 patient samples daily, according to its website.

Metabolomics a window on health

Metabolomics, the large-scale study of all the small molecules in a biological system, provides a comprehensive readout of that system’s function. Metabolomics helps researchers see beyond the genetic variation of individuals, capturing the combined impact of genetic and external factors such as the effect of drugs, diet, lifestyle and microbiome on the human health.

By measuring thousands of discrete chemical signals that form biological pathways in the body, metabolomics can reveal important biomarkers, enabling better understanding of a drug’s mechanism of action, pharmacodynamics, and safety profile, as well as as individual responses to treatment.

Since its inception in 2000, Metabolon has completed over 10,000 projects for 1,300 clients and its work has been included in over 2,800 publications. The company provides biochemical data and insights to support life science research and offers scalable and customizable metabolomics and lipidomics solutions from discovery to clinical trials and product lifecycle management.

In 2010, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center provided funding to Metabolon for a two-year industrial fellowship, which provided opportunities for a Ph.D. scientists from many prestigious universities in the state to gain valuable industry experience. The program ended in 2013.

(C) NC Biotechnology Center

About Hector Hedgepeth

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