Essex Woodlands, a $2.5 billion equity investment firm, is taking a $15 million stake in RTP-based Metabolon, which focuses on the growing field of metabolomics.

Another $10 million can be used to buy shares of earlier investors, the firms disclosed.

Metabolon defines metabolomics as an integration of “the influences of genes, diet, lifestyle, environment and xenobiotics to help explain gene function and how diseases originate and identify biomarkers for health assessment and customized drug therapy.”

“We believe the potential applications for metabolomics are just beginning to be appreciated, and we are therefore excited to support the continued growth of the leading metabolomics technology platform developed by Metabolon,” said Scott Barry, Managing Director at Essex Woodlands, in the funding announcement.

“We are very pleased to partner with [CEO] John [Ryals] and Metabolon’s world-class management team to continue the company’s trajectory of success in exploring the functionality of metabolomics in precision medicine in particular, and Essex Woodlands’ network of relationships in the healthcare industry will support and expand this impressive technology in new applications and partnerships going forward.”

As part of the deal, Barry joins the Metabolon board.

Metabolon, which launched in 2000, has now raised some $80 million in equity investment.

The funds will be used for development and commercialization of Metabolon products.

Earlier this year, Metabolon launch sales of an insulin test in 30 international markets.

The firm also is teaming with Muses Lab, another Triangle company, to tackle Alzheimer’s.

“Metabolomics has emerged as a powerful technology for precision medicine by dissecting underlying disease processes, which has set the stage for new ways to diagnose, monitor and provide treatment guidance,” Ryals said in a statement. “This financing gives us a number of opportunities to grow and promote the clinical products we are developing for those uses and strengthens our revenue growth. Essex Woodlands brings healthcare expertise that will be instrumental in advancing our business.”

Essex Woodlands has offices in Silicon Valley, Houston, New York, London and Shanghai.