Metabolon, a provider of research and products centered around biomarkers, has won a contract with the U.S. Army to student the impact of an anthrax vaccine administered to members of the military.

Financial terms were not disclosed. However, a Metabolon spokesperson described the deal as a “large one for us.”
Metabolon will work with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases on the project. Metabolon’s proprietary technology will be part of a regimen to gauge how the body reacts to the AVA anthrax vaccine.

The USARMIID, which is based in Maryland, is part of the U.S. Biological Defense Research Program.

Metabolon has developed patented technology around metabolomics (an approach to identifying biomarkers) that it says will "dramatically impact drug discovery and development processes." Metabolomics is the study of small molecules, such as glucose and cholesterol that are produced by cellular metabolism. The metabolome is the catalog of those molecules in a specific organism.

The technology can be used to identify safer compounds for drug development and thus shorten time to market. Metabolon also says biomarkers can indicate an early presence of a disease.

“This collaboration represents the first large-scale metabolomics study of human subjects given a vaccine,” said Mike Milburn, Metabolon’s chief scientific officer, in a statement. “This type of comprehensive biochemical profiling will help USAMRIID better understand the vaccine’s safety, efficacy, and mechanism of action.”

The contract is further validation of Metabolon’s technology, the company spokesperson said.

“We’re starting to get more and more validation like this not only from the government but also from large pharma and biotech clients as well,” she added.

Metabolon has made several deals related to drug discovery and development as well as bioprocessing in which its technology can optimize cell growth, the spokesperson said.