Improving accurate dosing of warfarin, a blood-thinning agent, is the goal of a new partnership between Metabolon Inc. and the Harvard-Partners Center for Genetics and Genomics (HPCGG).

Although prescribed extensively, warfarin causes more than 700,000 adverse events per year due to improper dosing. Many research efforts are studying the impact of genetics on warfarin dosing. HPCGG will also examine how a patient’s metabolomic profile may increase the likelihood of dosing warfarin correctly.

“Metabolon’s biomarker discovery platform gives us the opportunity to find biochemical markers that, along with genetic variations, might help characterize the differences between patients’ metabolism of warfarin.” said HPCGG’s director, Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D. “If we can improve the accuracy of warfarin dosing by our clinicians, even by modest percentages, we will increase the likelihood that patients will respond to therapy and ultimately we will reduce serious medical complications of therapy.”

Patient samples for the study are being collected through an ongoing trial with Partners HealthCare. HPCGG and Metabolon will report the results of the "Creating an Optimal Warfarin Nomogram" (CROWN) study in a peer-reviewed publication when the study concludes this summer.

Metabolon will provide Partners HealthCare investigators preferred access to its global biochemical profiling platform, which can quantify hundreds of small molecules in any given biological sample, the company said.

“Our work on the warfarin diagnostic coupled with the broad access to our discovery platform now available to the Partners HealthCare investigators, will firmly establish Metabolon’s impact on the development and delivery of diagnostics to critical areas within patient care,” said John Ryals, chief executive officer of Metabolon.