'Metabolomics' is Suited to the Screening of Patients for Clinical Trials
News Feb 13, 2006
Research and Markets has announced the addition of Metabolomics: The Next Omics Technology for the Diagnostics Industry to their offering.
Metabolomics, the study of the small-molecule metabolites produced by the body, has recently been added to the expanding toolbox of useful "omics" technologies: genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics, all of which are being used in basic research, drug discovery and development, and in vitro diagnostics as biomarkers of disease.
The information garnered through metabolomics will lead to the development of diagnostic tools to assist in the identification of disease conditions; it will also be implemented in the drug development process, as the effected metabolic pathways may be utilized as viable drug targets in the treatment of disease.
This Decision Resources report highlights the opportunities that metabolomics offers for new in vitro diagnostic tests and provides a brief review of the technology behind the field, examples of ongoing metabolomics research, and descriptions of select companies active in this field.
Metabolomics is a useful tool in the identification of biomarkers, which are analytes that indicate a change in the physiological state of a cell or tissue.
Biomarkers are critical for the development of efficient drug discovery and development techniques, in vitro diagnostics tools, and environmental toxicology screening methods.
Toxicology prediction is a key emphasis of metabolomics and related technologies. Drug developers improve the development process by eliminating potential toxic molecules in lab testing before submitting them to the far more expensive process of clinical testing.
In vitro diagnostics has traditionally relied upon measurements of various metabolites as measures of health, disease, toxicity, and the effectiveness of therapeutics.
Metabolomics like transcriptomics and proteomics, is multiparametric, measuring a large number of metabolites simultaneously from the same sample. This technique should allow for diagnoses of complex diseases, such as cancer, that involve multiple perturbations of normal physiological processes.
Simultaneous measurement of analytes allows for a less expensive analysis than measuring analytes individually.
Metabolomics is especially suited to the screening of patients for clinical trials. Drug development may be accelerated by selecting only the patients who are most likely to benefit from the drug candidate as participants in clinical trials, which also drastically reduces the cost of bringing the drug to the market.
Additionally, physicians may be able to detect potential problems with metabolism or toxicity in individual patients whose metabolite profile is known.