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Applications | Gastroenterology

Understanding Gut Disorders

Explore how advanced metabolomics insights can support your gastrointestinal research and contribute to the betterment of gut health worldwide.


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Featured Gastroenterology Resources


Metabolomics in Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology research faces a myriad of challenges as scientists strive to unravel the intricate complexities of the digestive system. The dynamic interplay of numerous biological processes, coupled with the multifaceted nature of gastrointestinal disorders, often complicates the identification of key biomarkers and the understanding of underlying molecular mechanisms. Traditional approaches in gastroenterology research have yielded valuable insights, yet there remains a pressing need for more comprehensive and nuanced methodologies to unravel the intricacies of gut health. As we grapple with the limitations of existing techniques, the integration of metabolomics emerges as a promising frontier that holds the potential to revolutionize our understanding of gastrointestinal physiology and pathology.

Metabolomics, a cutting-edge discipline within the realm of systems biology, offers a holistic and high-throughput approach to studying the metabolites produced by cellular processes. In the context of gastroenterology, metabolomics provides an unprecedented opportunity to examine the intricate metabolic fingerprints associated with various gastrointestinal conditions. By analyzing the small molecules present in biological samples such as blood, urine, and feces, metabolomics enables researchers to gain insights into the dynamic shifts occurring at the molecular level. This approach holds the key to identifying novel biomarkers, understanding disease mechanisms, and ultimately advancing the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. As we delve into the integration of metabolomics into gastroenterology research, the potential to unravel the intricate metabolic tapestry of the gut promises to open new avenues for personalized medicine and transformative therapeutic interventions.


Advancing Gastroenterology Research

More understanding is needed about the aspects of disease occurrence and severity in gastroenterology diseases. Metabolon can provide a unique insight into the state of health and metabolic functions of gastroenterology diseases via metabolomic analysis. Global metabolomics can be applied to discover metabolic drivers of gastroenterology diseases in cultured cells, tissue, and serum. These insights can be translated to actionable biomarkers through follow-on targeted panels.

Understand Disease Susceptibility
Decipher Mechanisms in the Gastrointestinal Tract
Identify Gastrointestinal Disease Biomarkers

Understand Disease Susceptibility

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately 60 to 70 million people in the U.S. are affected by some type of digestive disease1. GI disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are estimated to impact between 25 and 45 million Americans and about 10 to 15 percent of the population worldwide. In addition, gastrointestinal cancers account for 26.4% of incidences of new cancer cases and 36.3% of cancer-related deaths worldwide in 20202. With so many affected people, the unmet need to help diagnose and care for these patients is clear.

Metabolomics can aid in investigating the interplay of genetics, diet, and the microbiome in health maintenance and particularly in complex, multifactorial diseases of the digestive tract. Therefore, this cutting-edge technology can reveal actionable insights about the state of health offering tremendous value to understanding disease susceptibility, as well as treatment approaches.

Decipher Mechanisms in the Gastrointestinal Tract

Identifying the small molecules produced by microbial communities and how they modulate physiological processes in the host has enabled a functional understanding of gut microbial activity. Metabolon deciphers thousands of discrete chemical signals and connects them in biological pathways that are not captured by other ‘omics, providing a definitive representation of the phenotype.

Identify Gastrointestinal Disease Biomarkers

Understanding the underlying biology of chronic GI diseases is important in identifying biomarkers that will enable disease prevention, detection, and optimal treatment efficacy. With our industry-leading library of over 5,400 metabolites, Metabolon has the broadest coverage and capability to see potential biomarkers in your data. Combined with 20+ years of experience and our team of expert systems biologists, we are able to work more effectively together with you to design a biomarker-focused study that accelerates discovery, avoids roadblocks, and provides the necessary actionable information for progressing your research.

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Metabolomics Applications for Gastroenterology Research

  • EDisease risk assessment
  • ESystems biology insights
  • EUnderstanding disease mechanisms
  • EBiomarker discovery
  • EDeciphering gut microbiome connections
  • EEvaluation of treatment response
  • EComparative studies
  • EActionable health insights
  • EClostridium difficile infection research
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“Among the functional microbial features associated with IBS, the largest contribution to the multi-omics IBS signature came from three microbiome-related fecal metabolites: gentisate, hydrocinnamate, and tyramine. None of these or the other differentially abundant metabolites in IBS vs. HC have been previously implicated in IBS, possibly due to differences in metabolomics pipelines across studies which affect the specific metabolites that are detected and validated.”

Jacobs JP, Lagishetty V, Hauer MC, et al.
Multi-omics profiles of the intestinal microbiome in irritable bowel syndrome and its bowel habit subtypes. Microbiome. 2023;11(1):5. Published 2023 Jan 10. doi:10.1186/s40168-022-01450-5

Metabolomics Insights into Gastroenterological Diseases

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) leads to over 223,900 hospital cases and 12,800 deaths annually in the United States. Symptoms include diarrhea, colitis, dehydration, and sepsis. Antibiotics treat CDI symptoms by killing germinating C. difficile bacteria, but they do not eliminate spores, allowing rapid regrowth and microbiome imbalance, contributing to recurrent CDI (rCDI). Seres Therapeutics developed a microbiome therapeutic to treat rCDI and tested it on patients. Subjects receiving the therapeutic had more diverse species of gut microbes, a response which endured over the 8-week study.

pancreas gastrointestinal tract education diagram

Metabolon’s Good Clinical Practice (GCP)-validated Bile Acids Targeted Panel helped demonstrate the therapeutic’s mechanism of action (MOA) by confirming increased secondary bile acids, associated with an inhibition of C. difficile spore germination. The research group also leveraged Metabolon’s proprietary Global Discovery Panel to gain a much clearer picture of the biological activity of the microbial community and to identify potential metabolite-based biomarkers that could inform drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Metabolon’s Bile Acids Targeted Panel helped confirm the therapeutic’s mechanism of action. The FDA approval of this group’s microbiome therapeutic paves the way for a novel category of microbiome therapies that are effective and easy to administer. Metabolon has long been at the forefront of metabolomics utilization, having executed over 10,000 projects over the last 20 years. Our unique ability to provide key data and interpret them for you makes us a reliable collaborator as you navigate the complex drug development journey.

McGovern BH, Ford CB, Henn MR, et al. SER-109, an Investigational Microbiome Drug to Reduce Recurrence After Clostridioides difficile Infection: Lessons Learned From a Phase 2 Trial. Clin Infect Dis. Jun 15 2021;72(12):2132-2140. doi:10.1093/cid/ciaa387

Feuerstadt P, Louie TJ, Lashner B, et al. SER-109, an Oral Microbiome Therapy for Recurrent. N Engl J Med. Jan 20 2022;386(3):220-229. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2106516

Gastroenterology Publications and Citations

Metabolon has contributed extensively to publications ranging from basic research to clinical trials.

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