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NIH Awards $500,000 to ESA Biosciences to Accelerate Metabolomics Reserach

NEW YORK, March 25 (GenomeWeb News) - ESA Biosciences, a subsidiary of Magellan Biosciences, has been awarded a $500,000 Roadmap Initiative grant from the National Institutes of Health to accelerate its ongoing research in metabolomics, the company said yesterday.


"The idea is to come up with a platform to get as much information as possible out of a sample as far as a metabolomic profile goes," Ian Ackworth, ESA's vice president of HPLC products and services, told GenomeWeb News.


ESA plans to integrate its electrochemical and mass spectrometry technologies to extend the range of metabolites that can be analyzed using mass spec.


"There are some compounds that won't ionize," Ackworth explained. "We can electrochemically modify them, put a charge on them, and then analyze them using electrospray mass spectrometry."


Chelmsford, Mass.-based ESA also plans to use the NIH award to analyze non-volatile compounds using its new proprietary HPLC detection technology, called the Corona, which allows scientists to nebulize compounds and detect them once a charge has been put on them, Ackworth said.


"The challenge of metabolomics is that there are so many different metabolites occurring over an extremely wide concentration range. As a result, no one technology can completely address the metabolome," noted Paul Gamache, ESA's director of applications development and support. "We are looking to expand the capabilities of EC and MS so that together they form a comprehensive approach."

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