RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Metabolon, a global leader in the study of biological data based on metabolomics, is partnering with a genomics services company to provide analysis of biological samples from US veterans that are part of a US Department of Veterans Affairs project, the results of which could lead to advances in personalized medicine.

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Called the Million Veteran Program (MVP), or MVP, is the largest precision medicine program in the US. It has already collected more than 600,000 patient samples, making it the largest single collection of individual samples in the world.

Metabolon won the contract in partnership with AKESOgen. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“This partnership will enable Metabolon to work with researchers and clinicians at the VA to develop the analytical tools to combine genetic, metabolomic and electronic health information, which can then be applied to other large national initiatives around the world, such as the pioneering UK Biobank,” explained a spokesperson for Metabolon.

“These tools will be essential to translate important research discoveries into health benefits for individuals as we move toward personalized medicine practice in routine care.”

Metabolon, which launched in 2000, defines metabolomics as the study of small molecules called metabolites and is a powerful phenotyping technology for precision medicine. It measures changes in metabolite levels and maps them to the appropriate biochemical pathways to give clinicians a better understanding of health and the influences of genes, microbiome, diet, lifestyle and drug treatment.
“Large population health studies, such as MVP, recognize the importance of collecting many types of data, because there are multiple influences on health beyond genetics,” said John Ryals, CEO of Metabolon. “Metabolon and AKESOgen are helping this pioneering program maximize the value of genomics, metabolomics and other health information to identify disease risk factors and new targets for preventive health care.”
The RTP-based firm says it will utilize its proprietary technology to identify biomarkers of wellness and disease. The information will then be included in the MVP database.
“The MVP intends to leverage a tremendous amount of multi-omics data with the goal of identifying innovative ways to prevent and treat illnesses in our nation’s veterans,” said Michael Gaziano, a principal investigator of the MVP based at VA Boston and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “By combining the genetics data already collected, the extensive clinical and lifestyle information that is unique to the VA healthcare system, and Metabolon’s expertise in human metabolism, MVP aims to be one of the largest databases of its kind in the world.”
As part of the deal, AKESOgen will offer metabolomics through Metabolon to its clients.