Aurora News
Portfolio Company News

Researchers from Metabolon and Massachusetts General Hospital will be involved in a project to identify unique biomarkers for type 1 diabetes.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC (March 29, 2005) – Metabolon, Inc., a leader in the application of metabolomics to discover novel biomarkers, today announced its collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital on a new study to discover biomarkers for diabetic nephropathy in type 1 diabetes. The study will be funded by a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to Massachusetts General Hospital.

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin, which is necessary for the body to be able to use sugar. Diabetic nephropathy is the kidney disease that occurs as a result of diabetes. It is a leading cause of kidney failure in the United States.

“More than half a million Americans have or will develop diabetic nephropathy associated with type 1 diabetes,” said Dr. John Ryals, president and CEO of Metabolon. “This grant is another example of how Metabolon’s groundbreaking technology is being recognized as having the potential to discover novel biomarkers that could change the way a particular disease is treated.”

Metabolon will test urine and plasma samples obtained from patients using its industry-leading metabolomics platform that searches for signatures that predict the likelihood of developing diabetic nephropathy. The results will be used to help achieve the earliest possible diagnosis to identify patients eligible for treatment trials.

“Diabetic nephropathy is a frequent complication of diabetes that can lead to kidney failure, which can then require dialysis or a kidney transplant,” said Darryl E. Palmer-Toy, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital. “We are very hopeful that successful biomarker identification technology will enable us to predict which patients will develop nephropathy, and to diagnose and treat it at an earlier stage of the disease.”

Founded in 1811, Massachusetts General Hospital is the third oldest hospital in the United States. It conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the nation, with an annual research budget of more than $400 million. It is the oldest and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, and nearly all of the hospital's active staff physicians are on the Harvard Medical School faculty.

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. In conjunction with the NIH, Metabolon was recently honored as a recipient of the 2005 March of Dimes Award for Best Research in Prematurity. For additional information, visit

Back to Portfolio News