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Craft Technologies, Inc. to Improve Identification of Nutrition Deficiencies

Craft Technologies, Inc. (CTI) received funding for the next two years from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to determine appropriate methods to collect and measure Nutritional Biomarkers (NBs) in Dried Matrix Spots (DMS). Dried Blood Spots (DBS) have been used for nearly 50 years to screen neonates for phenylketonuria. During the past 10 years, DBS have become widely accepted in the biomedical and pharmaceutical communities. DBS suffer from inherent problems related to accuracy and stability. Now, more sophisticated devices of sample collection have been developed which separate red blood cells from serum. CTI will evaluate available sample collection devices by measuring the accuracy and stability of 11 nutritional biomarkers in blood samples and establish optimal procedures to achieve economical and robust methods for collection and analysis.

Enterome and Mayo Clinic Enter Collaboration to Develop and Commercialize Microbiome-based Diagnostic Tools for Nutritional Interventions

ENTEROME Bioscience SA, a pioneer in the development of innovative disease management solutions based on a deep understanding of the gut microbiome, is pleased to announce it has entered into an agreement with Mayo Clinic. The collaboration is focused on the discovery and validation of gut microbiome-based diagnostic tests for predicting response to medical nutritional intervention in obese or overweight patients.

DHMRI and Metabolon Announce Strategic Partnership to Provide Expanded Metabolomics Capabilities

The David H. Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI) at the North Carolina Research Campus and Metabolon, Inc., recently announced that they have entered into a strategic agreement to align metabolomics research services. Metabolon is a pioneering leader in discovery metabolomics and specializes in rapidly assessing metabolism in biological samples to quickly identify prospective biomarkers and to understand metabolic effects of treatments, interventions, nutritionals, etc. The agreement complements DHMRI’s mass spectrometry and NMR‐based metabolomics services through access to Metabolon’s industry‐leading high‐throughput biomarker discovery and profiling platform which provides an extensive, untargeted, broad metabolite survey of more than 4000 biochemicals.

“This agreement leverages the strengths of our organizations to best serve DHMRI collaborators to understand metabolism and ultimately answer key research questions and deliver healthy food products for consumers. We have worked extensively in food science and nutrition and recognize that our combined resources are indeed complementary. DHMRI is a center of excellence in nutrition research and we are delighted to do our part to meet their growing needs,” says Chris Bernard, senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Metabolon.

DHMRI is an established not‐for‐profit research institute that provides flexible, client‐focused research services to academia, government and industry collaborators. This agreement,
consistent with the DHMRI’s collaborative approach to scientific inquiry, provides partners with additional resources for metabolomics. Metabolon’s global metabolomic approach can
pinpoint active pathways which can be further interrogated by targeted and or customized approaches offered by the DHMRI Metabolomics team.

“We are excited to broaden the breadth of services offered by the DHMRI to our collaborators. The benefits stemming from the collective knowledge of our organizations will be readily
realized by researchers, companies and consumers,” said Steve Lommel Ph.D., Interim President, David H. Murdock Research Institute.

Source: David H. Murdock Research Institute

IMDEA Food and Metabolon, Inc. Announce Strategic Collaboration to Advance Nutrition-based Personalized Medicine

IMDEA Food, a Translational Research Institute from the Community of Madrid, dedicated to investigating the relationships among nutrition, food and health, and the US-based company Metabolon Inc., the pioneering leader in the field of metabolomics and molecular diagnostics serving the pharmaceutical and food industries, recently announced an ambitious collaboration program. The agreement, signed in Madrid by Dr. John Ryals, President and CEO of Metabolon, and Dr. Guillermo Reglero, Director of IMDEA Food, establishes the framework for future strategic projects aimed to develop functional foods and diagnostic tools.

Of particular interest are the prevention of prevalent chronic diseases with high societal impact, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity and neurological diseases, which are highly dependent on understanding food science and nutritional impact. To achieve this goal, individual in-depth studies to characterize the molecular mechanisms underlying the health benefits of foods and food components are needed.

“These studies promise to lead toward an efficient decrease of morbimortality due to chronic degenerative diseases and a better quality of life. IMDEA Food and Metabolon will combine their knowledge to advance towards this objective. A combined functional genomics and metabolomics approach involving complementary technologies and multidisciplinary expertise is paramount to achieve the scientific rigor and level of evidence required to bring nutrition-based personalized medicine to the public with the final objective of living longer and healthier”, commented Prof. Jose Ordovas of Tufts University, a world-renowned pioneer in nutrigenomics. Prof. Ordovas serves as the Senior Scientist and Director for the Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory and as the Chair of the Functional Genomics Core of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. Since its inception in 2007 Prof. Ordovas has been Chairman of the Board and Scientific Director of IMDEA Food.

The IMDEA Food Institute carries out human nutrigenomic studies, which are reviewed by a Research Ethical Committee, on its platform comprised of common services for genomics, biostatistics, bioinformatics and nutritional counseling. Metabolon is the world leader in metabolomic analysis of complex biological samples and has made major contributions to the discovery of biomarkers and biochemical pathways associated with nutrients and drugs, and which have led to the development of unique diagnostic tools. Scientists from IMDEA Food and Metabolon have met in IMDEA Food’s new headquarters located in Madrid to define the lines of common interest and greatest priority and to launch the first of a series of studies aimed at defining the molecular basis of action of key food ingredients.

Dr. Steve Watkins, Chief Technology Officer, Metabolon commented, “Collaborative studies with IMDEA will employ the combined resources and expertise of our organizations to identify appropriate biomarkers of disease risk and prevention and to monitor biological impact of nutritional components in foods. This strategic collaboration is pivotal to advancing our understanding of nutrition’s influence on health and disease.”

Source: Business Wire

NIH Scientists Find Promising Biomarker for Predicting HPV-related Oropharynx Cancer

Researchers have found that antibodies against the human papillomavirus (HPV) may help identify individuals who are at greatly increased risk of HPV-related cancer of the oropharynx, which is a portion of the throat that contains the tonsils.

In their study, at least 1 in 3 individuals with oropharyngeal cancer had antibodies to HPV, compared to fewer than 1 in 100 individuals without cancer. When present, these antibodies were detectable many years before the onset of disease. These findings raise the possibility that a blood test might one day be used to identify patients with this type of cancer.

The results of this study, carried out by scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, in collaboration with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), were published online June 17, 2013, in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Historically, the majority of oropharyngeal cancers could be explained by tobacco use and alcohol consumption rather than HPV infection. However, incidence of this malignancy is increasing in many parts of the world, especially in the United States and Europe, because of increased infection with HPV type 16 (HPV16). In the United States it is estimated that more than 60 percent of current cases of oropharyngeal cancer are due to HPV16. Persistent infection with HPV16 induces cellular changes that lead to cancer.

HPV E6 is one of the viral genes that contribute to tumor formation. Previous studies of patients with HPV-related oropharynx cancer found antibodies to E6 in their blood.

“Our study shows not only that the E6 antibodies are present prior to diagnosis—but that in many cases, the antibodies are there more than a decade before the cancer was clinically detectable, an important feature of a successful screening biomarker,” said Aimee R. Kreimer, Ph.D., the lead Investigator from the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, NCI.

Kreimer and her colleagues tested samples from participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Study, a long-term study of more than 500,000 healthy adults in 10 European countries. Participants gave a blood sample at the start of the study and have been followed since their initial contribution.

The researchers analyzed blood from 135 individuals who developed oropharyngeal cancer between one and 13 years later, and nearly 1,600 control individuals who did not develop cancer. The study found antibodies against the HPV16 E6 protein in 35 percent of the individuals with cancer, compared to less than 1 percent of the samples from the cancer-free individuals. The blood samples had been collected on average, six years before diagnosis, but the relationship was independent of the time between blood collection and diagnosis. Antibodies to HPV16 E6 protein were even found in blood samples collected more than 10 years before diagnosis.

The scientists also report that HPV16 E6 antibodies may be a biomarker for improved survival, consistent with previous reports. Patients in the study with oropharyngeal cancer who tested positive for HPV16 E6 antibodies prior to diagnosis were 70 percent more likely to be alive at the end of follow-up, compared to patients who tested negative.

“Although promising, these findings should be considered preliminary,” said Paul Brennan, Ph.D., the lead investigator from IARC. “If the predictive capability of the HPV16 E6 antibody holds up in other studies, we may want to consider developing a screening tool based on this result.

Source: Evaluation of Human Papillomavirus Antibodies and Risk of Subsequent Head and Neck Cancer

Source: National Cancer Institute