RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. and HOUSTON, Sept. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Metabolon, Inc. and Baylor College of Medicine announced today that they have entered into a two-year, exclusive agreement to provide global Metabolomic-Assisted Pathway Screening (MAPS) services for individuals with suspected inborn errors of metabolism (IEMs). In one test, Metabolon's advanced metabolomics platform will identify IEMs that would ordinarily require many different tests and define biochemical pathway errors not currently detected by routine clinical or genetic testing. Metabolon will provide that data to the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor to aid in the interpretation and assessment in the context of genetic disorders.
"Baylor and clinicians around the world are currently screening patients using two, five or even 10 biochemical tests that often require shipment to many different labs to determine whether a patient might have a metabolic disease," commented Arthur Beaudet, M.D., professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor. "Global MAPS will provide us with a single test that can assist in the diagnosis of a broad range of disorders and recognize new IEMs never before described."
The Global MAPS test has already been combined with exome sequencing to make novel discoveries, as described in a recent Baylor Exome Sign-out Conference available here.
IEMs are inherited metabolic disorders that prevent the body from converting one chemical compound to another, or from transporting a compound in or out of cells or from one cellular compartment to another. These processes are necessary for essentially all bodily functions. Most IEMs are caused by defects in the enzymes that help process nutrients, which result in an accumulation of toxic substances or a deficiency of substances needed for normal body function. Making a swift, accurate diagnosis of an IEM and prescribing the appropriate diet or medication are critical in preventing brain damage, organ damage, and even death. While there are several hundred recognized IEMs, state public-health programs only screen for about 40 disorders or fewer at birth, according to the National Institutes of Health.
"We believe that metabolomics is particularly well-suited for IEMs," said John Ryals, Ph.D., president and CEO of Metabolon. "Our ability to zero in on patient-specific metabolic disturbance and identify biomarkers might help physicians make a diagnosis more rapidly and also guide long-term clinical management with follow-up monitoring. This collaboration is an important first step in establishing Metabolon's personalized medicine initiative. In addition to IEMs, metabolomics could have clinical value for screening, monitoring and treatment of a wide range of illnesses."
Metabolon, Inc. is a world-leading, commercial-stage metabolomics company whose technology and expertise are embraced by companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, consumer products, agricultural, pet care and nutrition industries, as well as government and academic institutions. Founded in 2000, the company is a pioneer in the field of biochemical pathway analysis for biomarker discovery and development of innovative diagnostic tests. Metabolon's technology is the product of more than 14 years of R&D and is powered by its proprietary software and bioinformatics. Its metabolytics business has conducted more than 3,000 collaborative studies with over 600 clients to identify diseases, discover biomarkers, and better understand complex biological processes. Metabolon's diagnostics business consists of tests that enable early detection for the effective prevention of obesity-related diseases, and it is developing monitoring tests for cancer and other disease areas. For more information, please visit www.metabolon.com.
About Baylor College of Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine (www.bcm.edu) in Houston is recognized as a premier academic health sciences center and is known for excellence in education, research and patient care. It is ranked 21st among medical schools for research and 12th for primary care by U.S. News & World Report. Baylor is listed 19th among all U.S. medical schools for National Institutes of Health funding and number one in Texas. Located in the Texas Medical Center, Baylor has affiliations with seven teaching hospitals and jointly owns and operates CHI St. Luke's Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center. Currently, Baylor trains more than 3,000 medical, graduate, nurse anesthesia, physician assistant and orthotics students, as well as residents and post-doctoral fellows. Follow Baylor College of Medicine on Facebook and Twitter.
Metabolon, Inc. Cautionary Note about Forward-Looking Statements
The materials provided herein that are not historical facts are or might constitute projections and other forward-looking statements regarding future events that involve substantial risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If any of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if any of these assumptions prove to be incorrect, Metabolon's results could differ materially from the results expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements. The risks, uncertainties and assumptions referred to above include, but are not limited to: the uncertainties inherent in biochemical research and development; decisions by regulatory authorities regarding whether and when to approve diagnostic tests; Metabolon's and its distributors' ability to successfully commercialize and market both new and existing products; governmental laws and regulations affecting health care, including access, pricing and reimbursement of diagnostic tests; the strength of Metabolon's intellectual property portfolio; Metabolon's history of operating losses; whether Metabolon is able to achieve or sustain profitability; its highly competitive industry; its ability to compete effectively; security and privacy risks; and Metabolon's ability to continue to innovate and provide products and services that are useful to its clients, among other risks, uncertainties and assumptions.
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