Protea Partners with Agilent on Metabolomics Venture

December 9, 2015
Randi Hernandez

Randi Hernandez was science editor at BioPharm International from September 2014 to May 2017.

Protea will use Agilent’s mass spectrometry imaging technology to develop new methods to identify cell metabolites produced as a result of disease or drug exposure.

Protea Biosciences Group, a bioanalytical company serving the pharmaceutical and life-science industries, announced on Dec. 8, 2016 that it will harness Agilent’s LAESI mass spectrometry imaging technology to design metabolomics workflows for the identification of changes in cells after exposure to certain drugs. The endeavor will guide drug discovery and development, and will allow researchers to better predict drug failures based on cell physiology and the appearance of certain metabolites left behind by specific cellular processes.

"To accelerate the pace of drug development, we need to know how a new drug interacts with the body as a whole-as completely and as early in the drug development process as possible," said Greg Kilby, PhD, Protea’s vice-president and COO, in a press release. According to the company, the study of metabolomics also has the potential to help optimize cellular processes (such as yield and quality) in the manufacture of biopharmaceutical products.

By characterizing the biologically active molecules that are the byproducts of living cells, Protea hopes to be able to better identify the mechanism of action of certain biologic agents within 30 days after exposure. In June 2015, the company entered into a separate, $14-million DARPA cooperative research agreement to develop REDIchip, a silicon chip technology that enables the rapid identification and quantitation of small molecules in biofluids.

Source: CNN Money