RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – It isn’t sexy. But it provides scientists with a new tool to understand health, wellness and disease by way of the intestinal track.
Morrisville-based precision health company Metabolon has teamed up with Canadian biotech firm DNA Genotek to develop a better device to collect, store and ship fecal samples for metabolomics research.
Metabolon specializes in metabolomics. That’s the study of cell metabolism to understand how genes, the microbiome (the genetic material of all microbes), diet, and lifestyle affect people’s health. DNA Genotek is an Ottawa-based subsidiary of OraSure Technologies, Inc. It supplies biological sample collection products and services based on genomics and microbiome applications.
OMNImet-GUT – the device developed by the two companies – makes it easier and less expensive to collect, store and ship fecal samples from home that are targeted for research. With the new technology, these samples can be processed at ambient temperature, the actual air temperature of an environment. Previously, the only way to study metabolites in human feces was to immediately freeze and ship the samples via cold storage, according to Metabolon.
DNA Genotek developed OMNImet GUT. Metabolon validated the collection tubes and stabilization chemistry needed to protect metabolites in feces and to maintain sample integrity. The company also will provide metabolomics and short chain fatty acid analyses of fecal samples.
“For years, our customers from across biopharma, academia and population health have been asking for a validated, ambient-temperature solution to study metabolites in human feces,” said Luke Miller, Metabolon’s vice president of laboratory operations. “When DNA Genotek approached us to validate their in-home technology, we knew it would help unlock a new realm of functional insights for microbiome research as well as other areas of health, wellness and disease research.”DNA Genotek developed OMNImet GUT. Metabolon validated the collection tubes and stabilization chemistry needed to protect metabolites in feces and to maintain sample integrity. The company also will provide metabolomics and short chain fatty acid analyses of fecal samples.
OMNImet-GUT can keep samples stable at ambient temperatures for several days, Metabolon noted. That means more flexibility, lower shipping costs, and other advantages in recruiting patients for clinical trials.
“We are excited to announce this strategic collaboration with Metabolon, which has validated our OMNImet-GUT collection device,” said Scott Rabuka, senior director, Molecular Products at DNA Genotek. “…The device provides scientists with an important new solution for metabolomics research and builds on our evolution towards a fully integrated multiomics company that creates and captures value from sample collection all the way to discovery.”
Metabolon, founded in 2000, is a global leader in metabolomics – providing solutions from discovery through clinical trials and product life-cycle management. The company has 212 employees, nearly 40 of whom have Ph.D. degrees from a diversity of backgrounds.
A decade ago, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center helped support Metabolon’s growth with two years of funding for an industrial intern to work at the company.
Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire