Metabolon to Support National Large Cohort Studies
New Population Health Vice President Announces Plans to Add Metabolomics Expertise to Identify Risk Factors for Disease and Targets for Preventive Health Care
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – March 29, 2017 – Metabolon, Inc., the global leader in metabolomics, announced today that it is expanding its efforts to apply metabolomics to large population health studies taking place around the world. To support this, the Company has grown its team to include Alex Forrest-Hay as Vice President of Population Health and his staff to exclusively focus on these initiatives. Prior to joining Metabolon, he was Director of Business Development at Affymetrix.
“Alex is a valuable addition to Metabolon because he has such a deep understanding of the goals of these large cohort studies and trusted relationships with population health thought leaders,” said Metabolon CEO John Ryals, PhD. “He and his team will help researchers maximize the value of combining genomics and metabolomics to identify disease risk factors and targets for preventive health care.”
Population health explores the health of large groups of people over time to better understand the underlying nature of wellness and disease. Programs are underway in the U.S., U.K., China and many other countries to collect genetic and biological samples and a wide variety of health information. This data will become a powerful resource in discovering why some people develop certain diseases and others do not.
“Genetic and environmental factors influencing health exert their effects by altering metabolite levels,” said Forrest-Hay. “As millions of patient samples are collected in these global studies, Metabolon’s technology will provide valuable, integrative knowledge toward understanding gene function and metabolic health. The Population Health team will work with leading government and academic researchers to establish Metabolon as the preferred provider of metabolomics data for these large-scale, multi-omic initiatives. These exciting programs are laying the foundations for using precision medicine in clinical practice, and metabolomics data will be essential for making this a reality.”
While genomics is viewed as a key component to precision medicine, there remains a need to understand additional factors, beyond one’s genes, to accurately reflect the current health status of an individual. The evolution of precision medicine benefits from research about broader population health. Overall, a better understanding of how all these factors work together may help improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of chronic and life-threatening illnesses.
About Alex Forrest-Hay
Alex Forrest-Hay is the Vice President of Population Health at Metabolon. He was previously Director of Business Development at Affymetrix focusing on precision medicine and immuno-oncology. Mr. Forrest-Hay worked for Affymetrix for 10 years and was instrumental in closing multi-million dollar deals with the Million Veterans Program and the U.K. Biobank. These precision medicine initiatives are the largest in the world and have analyzed DNA from more than one million individuals. Prior to that, Mr. Forrest-Hay was a genomics specialist at Beckman Coulter and worked as a researcher at the University of Keele. He has a molecular biology BSc Honors Degree from the University of East Anglia and a Higher National Diploma in applied biology from the University of the West of England.
Metabolomics is the study of small molecules called metabolites and is an insightful phenotyping technology. It assesses metabolite levels and biochemical pathways to give researchers and clinicians a better understanding of health and the influences of genes, microbiome, diet, lifestyle and drug treatment.
Metabolon, Inc. is the world’s leading health technology company advancing metabolomics for precision medicine and all areas of life sciences research. Its Precision Metabolomics™ is a powerful technology for assessing health and is delivering biomarker discoveries, innovative diagnostic tests, and ground-breaking partnerships in genomics and population health initiatives. Metabolon’s expertise is also accelerating research and product development across the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, consumer products, agriculture and nutrition industries, as well as academic and government organizations. The company was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. For more information, please visit www.metabolon.com or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter.
Cautionary Note about Forward-Looking Statements
The materials provided herein that are not historical facts are or might constitute projections and other forward-looking statements regarding future events that involve substantial risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If any of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if any of these assumptions prove to be incorrect, Metabolon’s results could differ materially from the results expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements. The risks, uncertainties and assumptions referred to above include, but are not limited to: the uncertainties inherent in biochemical research and development; decisions by regulatory authorities regarding whether and when to approve diagnostic tests; the clinical utility of Metabolon’s metabolomic services; Metabolon’s and its distributors’ ability to successfully commercialize and market both new and existing products; governmental laws and regulations affecting health care, including access, pricing and reimbursement of diagnostic tests; the strength of Metabolon’s intellectual property portfolio; Metabolon’s history of operating losses; whether Metabolon is able to achieve or sustain profitability; its highly competitive industry; its ability to compete effectively; security and privacy risks; and Metabolon’s ability to continue to innovate and provide products and services that are useful to its clients, among other risks, uncertainties and assumptions.
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