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Leading medical centers leverage metabolomics to better understand the impact of lactation on birth and maternal outcomes

Posted In: Company News

Metabolon to perform metabolomic analysis for Lactation Lab.


MORRISVILLE, N.C. – December 13, 2021 – Metabolon, Inc., will collaborate with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in a first-of-its-kind Lactation Lab, providing comprehensive metabolomic profiles to enhance understanding of the biology underlying lactation to identify solutions to improve maternal and infant health.

The value of this work is two-fold. In the short-term, the findings will generate fundamental knowledge required for the discovery of interventions to improve maternal and infant health outcomes. In the long-term, the development of the Lactation Lab will provide a model for discovery in the field of lactation science, bringing much-needed scientific rigor to investigations during this critical period that influences the lifelong health of two generations.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Drs. Sarbattama Sen and Camilia Martin to support the multidisciplinary research work at The Lactation Lab,” says Patricia Sheridan, Ph.D., Associate Director, Biological Development, Metabolon. “Metabolon’s data will enable the identification of the metabolomic signatures of mothers and infants following birth and through the breastfeeding period, providing data to identify key biochemicals that may be crucial for improving the health of both the mother and baby.”

“Over 60 percent of U.S. women are unable to achieve their lactation goals, and the variability in human breastmilk has been understudied,” said Sarbattama Sen, MD, a physician in the Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Leveraging techniques such as metabolomics will be critical to moving forward the field of lactation science and optimizing care for every mother and infant.”

Research has shown that longer breastfeeding duration can decrease post-partum weight retention and metabolic issues, while also decreasing the possibility post-partum depression and rates of breast and ovarian cancer.

“Detailed characterization of human milk coupled with clinical outcomes will identify important pathways in health and disease for both mother and infant,” adds Dr. Camilia Martin, Director of Clinical-Translational Research in the Department of Neonatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “These findings will catalyze new areas of research on previously unrecognized metabolites that are important for health outcomes.

Metabolon’s collaboration with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is part of 11 independent projects that are receiving funding from Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. The MLSC is contributing $8.3 million in capital programs to support innovation and cross-sector collaboration to tackle pressing life science challenges in women’s health.

​Metabolon will perform global metabolomics on breast milk and plasma samples from mothers and plasma samples from their babies. These studies represent geographically and demographically diverse cohorts and a unique opportunity to utilize Metabolon’s platform to improve maternal and child health.

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