RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC and ATLANTA, GA — April 19, 2018 — Metabolon, Inc., the global leader in metabolomics, announced today that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has selected the Company through its alliance with AKESOgen, a leader in genomics, to perform large-scale metabolomic profiling on biological samples from U.S. veterans as part of the Million Veteran Program (MVP).
Metabolon will analyze the samples using its industry-leading Precision Metabolomics™ technology to identify biomarkers of wellness and disease. This data will become part of the MVP’s extensive database of genetic, military and environmental exposure, lifestyle and health information.
«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, MD, MPH, 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.»
Metabolomics is the study of small molecules called metabolites. This technology measures changes in metabolite levels and maps them to the appropriate biochemical pathways to give researchers and clinicians a better understanding of health and the influences of genes, microbiome, diet, lifestyle and drug treatment.
As part of this contract, Metabolon has formed a strategic partnership with AKESOgen, Inc., which is currently providing genotyping services for the MVP and has genotyped over 300,000 samples since 2014 for the VA. AKESOgen offers multi-omics services to academia, the pharmaceutical industry and government and will now offer metabolomics through Metabolon to its clients.
«We are delighted with our partnership with Metabolon. Metabolon provides data of the highest quality, which is what AKESOgen is all about. Secondly, the marriage of genomics and metabolomics will provide an overall holistic view of health that is critical for our veterans,» said Robert Boisjoli, CEO at AKESOgen.
«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, PhD, president and CEO at 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.»
About the VA Million Veteran Program
Launched in 2011, MVP is a landmark research effort aimed at better understanding how genes affect health. Up to a million veterans are expected to enroll in the VA study over the next five to six years from over 50 VA medical centers nationwide. With more than 640,000 enrollees to date, MVP already far exceeds the enrollment numbers of any single VA study or research program in the past. MVP provides researchers with a rich resource of genetic, health, lifestyle, and military-exposure data collected from questionnaires, medical records and -omic analyses. By combining this information into a single database, MVP promises to advance knowledge about the complex links between genes and health. For more information about MVP, visit www.research.va.gov/MVP.
About AKESOgen, Inc.
AKESOgen is an integrated CLIA/CAP-accredited genomics services company providing high-throughput biomarker profiling and genomics analysis utilizing different types of markers (e.g. DNA, mRNA, miRNA, methylation) for the clinical and R&D market. A private company based in Atlanta, Georgia, AKESOgen is a genomics contract research organization that services the academic, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, clinical testing and government sectors. AKESOgen provides expertise in biobanking, assay development and all ancillary services in a purpose-built facility. For more information, visit www.akesogen.com.
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; the clinical utility of Metabolon’s metabolomic services; 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.