'Stalwart' Soldiers in Afghanistan
Soldiers from Task Force Stalwart, which is compromised of Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, pose for a group photo, March 28, 2018, in a post in the outskirts of Afghanistan. [Sgt. 1st Class Jasmine L. Flowers/2nd IBCT UPAR]

Metabolon said today it will perform large-scale metabolomic profiling on biological samples from U.S. veterans as part of the Million Veteran Program, through the company’s partnership with genomics services provider AKESOgen.

The Million Veteran Program (MVP), a research effort launched by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in 2011, is designed to gather genetic data from up to 1 million veterans into a single database. To date, more than 640,000 have enrolled in MVP, which is designed to advance knowledge about the links between genes and health.

The program collects and stores genetic, health, lifestyle, and military-exposure data gathered from questionnaires, medical records and -omics analyses.

“By combining the genetics data already collected, the extensive clinical and lifestyle information that is unique to the VA healthcare system, and Metabolon’s expertise in human metabolism, MVP aims to be one of the largest databases of its kind in the world,” Michael Gaziano, MD, MPH, a principal investigator of the MVP based at VA Boston and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, said in a statement.

Metabolon said it will use its Precision Metabolomics technology to analyze the samples, with the aim of identifying biomarkers of wellness and disease. The data will become part of the MVP’s database.

Under its contract with the VA, whose value was not disclosed, Metabolon said it has formed a partnership with AKESOgen, the provider of genotyping services for the MVP. AKESOgen has genotyped over 300,000 samples for the VA since 2014.

“The marriage of genomics and metabolomics will provide an overall holistic view of health that is critical for our veterans,” added AKESOgen CEO Robert Boisjoli.

Based in Peachtree Corners, GA, AKESOgen serves academia, the biopharma industry, and government as a CLIA/CAP-accredited provider of multi-omics services, as well as a genomics contract research organization, AKESOgen offers high-throughput biomarker profiling and genomics analysis utilizing different types of markers—including DNA, mRNA, miRNA, and methylation—for the clinical and R&D markets.

Metabolon said AKESOgen will expand its services to include metabolomics through the companies’ new partnership.

Headquartered in Morrisville, NC, Metabolon offers metabolomics solutions for precision medicine as well as for life sciences research.

According to Metabolon, its Precision Metabolomics technology offers the largest reference library of authenticated, biologically relevant chemical standards, as well as access to the company’s institutional knowledge and proprietary map of metabolism; a patented bioinformatics and quality-control software; advanced mass spectrometry hardware; a proprietary LIMS system; and quality controls.

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