Population Health

Dedicated to Understanding Difficult Questions About Population Health

Population health seeks to understand factors that influence the overall well-being of large groups over time. It uses large cohorts of subjects to address questions related to aging, rare disease, vaccine response, nutrition, and more. Many factors determine population health, such as genetics, environmental factors, gender, and race, making it key in the development of precision medicine. The goal of population health research is to identify macro-scale trends and develop novel therapies to improve the health of these populations.

The Limitations of Genomics-only Studies

Population health studies often focus on human genomics, which can show the risk of disease. However, human genomics as a standalone can often leave unanswered questions about the manifestation of illness. Genomics does not capture the health and lifestyle aspects of an individual or group, which contribute greatly to disease risk and healthcare outcomes. Moreover, a challenge that population health research is faced with is the ability of patients to access the lab for the collection of blood plasma, serum, and fecal samples. This dynamic slows or prevents population health studies globally.

Metabolomics as a Multi-omics Solution for Population Health

A multi-omics approach that includes metabolomics would enable a deep understanding of the health status of a certain population. Metabolon is contributing to these efforts through our metabolomics technology, which can analyze changes in metabolite levels from a range of biological samples, including blood, urine, feces, and tissues. These metabolic changes can then be mapped to the appropriate biochemical signaling pathways. Therefore, Metabolon can provide researchers and clinicians with a better understanding of how genes, microbiome, diet, lifestyle, and drug treatments influence population health.

Metabolon has also validated the use of alternative sampling methods for metabolomics analysis to support large-scale metabolomics research needs. For example, 150 µl of blood product is sufficient to run untargeted metabolomics on our Global Discovery Panel, and Metabolon-validated dried blood spot (DBS) cards allow only a few drops of blood from a finger to be tested for metabolomic changes. Additionally, through our collaboration with DNA Genotek, we found for the first time that the OMNImet®•GUT device can be used for room temperature collection of stool samples for metabolomics studies. This dramatically expands the accessibility of metabolomics for gut microbiome studies. These novel sampling methods for metabolomics research provide a low-cost and effective alternative for population health studies.

Driving Discovery with Collective Insight

At Metabolon, we know that deep metabolic phenotyping of large cohort programs will confidently identify fundamental factors in the development of major diseases, lead to the discovery of new biomarkers and reveal novel targets for clinical intervention. With our industry-leading library of over 5400 metabolites, Metabolon’s technology has the broadest coverage and capability to see potential biomarkers in your data. The compounds identified through metabolomic profiling represent a range of intermediate metabolic pathways that may serve as biomarkers of exposure, susceptibility, or disease. Our Population Health team works with leading government, academic, and commercial researchers around the world to establish Metabolon as the preferred provider of metabolomics data for these studies.

See how Metabolon can advance your path to preclinical and clinical insights

Global Discovery Panel

Metabolon’s LC-MS global metabolomics platform provides a high-fidelity, reproducible analysis of the current-state of a biological system to help identify pharmacodynamic, efficacy and response biomarkers and reveal changes in key biological pathways. Metabolon’s unmatched chemical library and expertise identifies, tracks, and maps the different classes of metabolites and pathways that inform your study and reveal meaningful actionable insights.
Global Discovery Panel
Complex Lipids Targeted Panel

Complex Lipids Targeted Panel

Metabolon has overcome the challenges of lipid profiling to create the only platform able to provide both complete and quantitative lipidomic analysis.

Short Chain Fatty Acids Targeted Panel

Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are produced in the colon by the gut microbiota. They are the end products of anaerobic fermentation of dietary fibers and protein/peptides in the small intestine. Their formation is the result of a complex interaction between diet, gut microbiota, and host. SCFAs influence the physiology of the colon serving as energy sources by host cells and the intestinal microbiota as well as participating in different host signaling mechanisms.
Short Chain Fatty Acids Targeted Panel
Amino Acids Targeted Panel

Amino Acids Targeted Panel

Amino Acids (AA) are the foundational building blocks for peptides and proteins. These small molecules regulate metabolic pathways that are involved in cell maintenance, growth, reproduction, and immunity. Branched chain amino acids play a large role in building muscle tissue and participate in increasing protein synthesis. Amino acids also play a role in cell signaling, gene expression and protein phosphorylation. Maintaining an optimal balance of amino acids is vital to maintaining a stable equilibrium of physiological processes.

Bile Acids Targeted Panel

Bile acids are derived from cholesterol and serve an important role in emulsifying and digesting lipids. In addition, their metabolism is intimately involved with the microbiota, and they have been shown to exhibit endocrine and metabolic activity via receptors like FXR and TGR5. The Bile Acid Assay measures all the major human and rodent primary and secondary bile acids as well as their glycine and taurine conjugates.
Bile Acids Targeted Panel
Metal Analysis Targeted Panel

Metal Analysis Targeted Panel

Metabolon’s ICP-MS-based Metal Analysis Targeted Panel provides precise measurements of biologically important metal ions in biological samples. In addition to the well-established problems of toxicity associated with several metals, the vital role these ions play in a variety of biological pathways whether by catalyzing enzymatic reactions or stabilizing protein structures is still becoming clear. Intimately intertwined with the proteome and metabolome, metal ions represent an intrinsic piece vital to the holistic understanding of biological phenomena ranging from development through normal functioning to disease. Without an understanding of the role of these metals, a complete understanding of biological processes is not possible. The Metal Analysis Targeted Panel measures a variety of metals ions ranging from the macro level (ppm) including Na, K, and Ca to the micro level (ppb) including Mo, Cu, and Ni.

Metabolon in Action

Beyond Service Provider to Solution Driver

Metabolon collaborates with a leading provider of products for biological sample collection, stabilization, and preparation to validate a metabolomic approach to support functional understanding of the gut microbiome.

Read the case study

Metabolon to Power Metabolomic Enriched Population Health Studies at FinnGen

FinnGen chooses Metabolon’s global metabolomics platform to complement genomic and clinical datasets to gain new insights and improve human health.

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Population Differences in the Immune Response to Malaria

Malaria is a global health epidemic, with an estimated 229 million cases per year resulting in over 400,000 deaths with the majority of these deaths being in children under the age of 5. Most cases in sub-Saharan Africa are caused by the Plasmodium falciparum parasite and transmitted via mosquitos. There is currently no approved vaccine for malaria and antimalarial drug resistance is a growing concern. There is hope that a better understanding of the interactions of the parasite and host metabolism could yield better treatment options.

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Q&A: Approach to Frailty Population Health Study with Brent Richards, M.D., M.Sc., Faculty of Medicine at McGill University

We sat down with Brent Richards, M.D., M.Sc., from the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University, to discuss the Canadian population health collaborative study that is aimed at discovering key frailty biomarkers to shed light on why some people become frail, determine the severity of frailty and what can be done to help avoid the condition.

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Interested in Further Studies?

Why Metabolon?

Once you see the full value of metabolomics, the only remaining question is who does it best? While many laboratories have metabolite profiling or analytical chemistry capabilities, comprehensive metabolomics technologies are extremely rare. Accurate, unbiased metabolite identification across the entire metabolome introduces signal-to-noise challenges that very few labs are equipped to handle. Also, translating massive quantities of data into actionable information is slow, if not impossible, for most because proper interpretation takes two things that are in short supply: experience and a comprehensive database.

Only Metabolon has all four core metabolomics capabilities

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Coverage

Ability to interrogate thousands of metabolites across diverse biochemical space, revealing new insights and opportunities

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Comparability

Ability to integrate the data from different studies into the same dataset, in different geographies, among different patients over time
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Competency

Ability to inform on proper study design, generate high‐quality data, derive biological insights, and make actionable recommendations
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Capacity

Ability to process hundreds of thousands of samples quickly and cost‐efficiently to service rapidly growing demand

Partner with Metabolon to access:

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A library of 5400+ known metabolites, 2000 in human plasma, all referenced in the context of biochemical pathways

  • That’s 5x the metabolites of the closest competitor
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Unparalleled depth and breadth of experience analyzing and interpreting metabolomic data to find meaningful results

  • 10,000+ projects with hundreds of clients
  • 2,000+ publications covering 500 diseases, including numerous peer-reviewed journals such as Cell, Nature and Science
  • Nearly 40 PhDs in data science, molecular biology, and biochemistry

Using our robust platform and visualization tools, our experts are uniquely able to tell you more about your molecule and develop assay panels to help you zero in on the results you need.

Contact Us

Talk with an expert

Request a quote for our services or more information on sample types and handling procedures, need a letter of support, or simply have questions about how metabolomics can advance your research.

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