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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Venture-backed continues to add to its intellectual property portfolio.

The company, which focuses on biomarker and metabolomics research, recently was awarded its fourth patent in a month. The latest patent covers its software called IonTracker. It enables users to develop new chemical libraries.

Metabolon, which recently closed on $1 million in new venture capital, is advancing metabolomics, which is an approach to identifying biomarkers. The firm believes its technology will "dramatically impact drug discovery and development processes."

Metabolomics is the study of small molecules, such as glucose and cholesterol , that cellular metabolism produces. 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.

The press release about the new patent:

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Metabolon, Inc., the leader in metabolomics-driven biomarker discovery and analysis, today announced that it has been awarded a patent for its metabolomics software, Ion Tracker™, which provides a mechanism for creating new chemical library entries. The software is designed to greatly accelerate and automate the organization of ion features for mass spectrometry into chemically related sets and expedites the creation of a metabolite library. It is a key component of the company’s global biochemical profiling technology.

Corey DeHaven, senior director of information systems with Metabolon, explained, “This tool gives us a unique advantage because we are able to dig very deeply into datasets and find those underlying chemicals that are not already a part of our library, then add them to the library with very little time or effort. It is in this way that Metabolon has been able to build the world’s largest metabolomic reference library and we continue to add to this database daily.”

The awarded patent (US Patent 7’561’975), titled “System, Method, and Computer Program Product for Analyzing Spectrometry Data to Identify and Quantify Individual Component in a Sample,” is the latest addition to Metabolon’s extensive IP portfolio consisting of over 100 US and worldwide patents and patent applications, including broad metabolomics methods, data analysis and biomarker patents, as well as focused product patents.