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Metabolon Receives March of Dimes Award for Best Research in Prematurity

Researchers from Metabolon and NIH honored for biomarker identification study at the 25th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC (February 10, 2005) Metabolon, Inc., a leader in the application of metabolomics to discover novel biomarkers, today announced it received the March of Dimes Award for Best Research in Prematurity along with researchers from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Using Metabolon's proprietary metabolomic technology platform, researchers profiled the amniotic fluid metabolome in order to identify which women who have experienced preterm labor are also at risk of delivering a premature baby.

"We studied the amniotic fluid of three groups of patients - those with preterm labor who delivered at term, those with intra-amniotic inflammation who had both preterm labor and delivery, and those with no sign of inflammation who still had preterm labor and delivery," said Roberto Romero, M.D., primary study author and Chief of the Perinatology Research Branch of the NICHD.  "We discovered that by using metabolic profiling, 96 percent of the time we could correctly identify the patients as belonging to the appropriate clinical group.  A second study, in a different set of patients with a larger sample size, has already confirmed the effectiveness of our method.  Until now, we have never had a way to predict the course of preterm labor with such accuracy.  Metabolomic profiling has given us that tool."

"Metabolon is certainly pleased with the results of this research project," said John Ryals, president and CEO of Metabolon.  "Our successful profiling of the amniotic fluid metabolome and the identification of key biomarkers will aid researchers in the development of tools to determine preterm delivery risk.  We look forward to continuing this ground-breaking work with Dr. Romero and the NICHD."

The March of Dimes worked with the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine to identify and recognize revolutionary prematurity research as a part of its multi-year prematurity campaign aimed at reducing the growing rate of premature births through research and awareness.  Data from the study, Metabolomics in Premature Labor: A Novel Approach to Identify Patients at Risk for Preterm Delivery, was presented at the 25th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine on February 10 in Reno, NV.

About Metabolon

Metabolon is an industry leader in the discovery of biomarkers through the use of metabolomics, a powerful and new scientific approach for the discovery and development of drugs and the early diagnosis of disease states.  Metabolon's patent-pending technology is poised to dramatically impact drug discovery and development processes by accurately measuring the spectrum of biochemical changes and mapping these changes to metabolic pathways.  Metabolon's technology can identify safer compounds for development, shorten the time for drugs to get to market and identify novel biomarkers for earlier disease detection.  For additional information, visit


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