Agilent Technologies Joins Forces with Molecular Discovery to Address Complex Problems in Drug Research and Development
18 Sep 2012

Agilent Technologies Inc. has announced that it has entered into a comarketing agreement with Molecular Discovery Ltd. to provide biopharmaceutical researchers with an advanced metabolite-identification platform. The companies will comarket the combined assets of Agilent’s high-resolution liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) technology and Molecular Discovery’s Mass-MetaSite software to enable superior identification and analysis of complex biological mixtures.

“Until now, the challenges of identifying and predicting human drug metabolism have been major obstacles in the development of safe, effective drug candidates,” said Gus Salem, vice president and general manager of Agilent’s Biological Systems Division. “Together, Agilent Technologies and Molecular Discovery are working to solve this problem in pharmaceutical research. Whereas traditional metabolite identification, synthesis and toxicity testing has been costly and time consuming for researchers, our combined industry-leading technologies will now give them faster, more accurate data, and the confidence they need to ensure the safety of their products much earlier in the preclinical phase of development

“For example,” Salem continued, “the Agilent RapidFire 360 product is used to increase sample throughput for pharmaceutical discovery. With Molecular Discovery’s expertise in xenobiotic metabolism and predictive software, the analytical interpretation burden is dramatically reduced. This allows researchers to process the majority of their results automatically and focus their expertise on the more complex cases, streamlining data processing and metabolite identification.”

Gabriele Cruciani, managing director at Molecular Discovery, added, “Agilent’s leading LC/MS platform is enabling companies to obtain high-quality analytical data with a much higher throughput than before. This means that the experts now need to interpret even more data. Working together with Agilent, we are seamlessly combining these high-throughput hardware capabilities with Molecular Discovery’s high-throughput software capabilities, providing a revolutionary advanced metabolite identification platform.”

Metabolites are small molecules that are the products of life in the cells of every type of plant or animal. Scientists study snapshots of all the metabolites in a given bio-sample in their search for new therapeutics and to understand the mechanisms of disease and health. Agilent is a world leader in providing sophisticated LC/MS technology for advances in this area.

Prior to the approval of any new drug application, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration requires that all therapeutic compounds be subjected to preclinical metabolic toxicity testing before human clinical trials can begin. As a primary part of this process, metabolites must be identified and critically assessed to understand how the drug compound will affect human metabolism. Traditionally, this task has been costly and time consuming for drug makers, and commonly deferred until the final stages of preclinical testing.

This comarketing program provides customers with a turnkey solution that bridges the gap between sophisticated laboratory software and hardware capabilities. The analytical benefits of Agilent’s high-resolution instruments, integrated with Molecular Discovery’s robust predictive metabolite-identification software tools, will advance drug research and discovery by enabling the decisive identification and conversion of large volumes of data into usable information.

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