Icoria, Inc. has announced that it has signed an agreement with Isis Pharmaceuticals to identify biomarkers of toxicity in animal models. Icoria will use its metabolomics platform to characterize differences in biochemical profiles between treated and untreated animal subjects and to identify those biochemicals that are specifically affected by treatment.
Isis can use this information to suggest pathways that may be altered by future drug candidates.Metabolomics, or biochemical profiling, uses mass spectrometry to measure net changes in the level of the body's endogenous biochemicals, such as amino acids, sugars and fatty acids, and provides a means of evaluating drug action and disease state.
Icoria claims that, when combined with proprietary software developed by Icoria, this technology enables Icoria to construct biomarkers that can detect toxicity or the therapeutic effects of drugs. Drug development companies such as Isis can use this data to infer pathway-based mechanisms of drug action and patient response, and to assess drug safety.