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Nightingale, UK Biobank to Analyze Metabolomic Markers in 500K Blood Samples

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Nightingale Health and UK Biobank unveiled plans today to analyze metabolic biomarkers in 500,000 blood samples.

The project, which is expected to take 30 months, will focus on metabolic biomarkers previous research has linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other common chronic diseases. It will use Nightingale's NMR-based metabolite profiling platform, which the company said is able to measure more than 200 metabolites per blood sample.

"We already have an enormous amount of information about the lifestyles and genetic make-up of the participants in UK Biobank, as well as about their health, and are currently conducting imaging studies of their brains, hearts, and bodies," Rory Collins, principal investigator at UK Biobank, said in a statement. "Providing the medical research community with these additional high-quality metabolic biomarker data on such a large scale will enhance discovery science and population science, providing opportunities to benefit patient care and public health."

"We anticipate this detailed molecular readout of the health state, combining both lifestyle and genetic makeup, will result in a wealth of scientific applications from the research community," said Peter Würtz, Nightingale's scientific director and founder.

The work will be funded by Nightingale, which will have exclusive access to the metabolomic data generated through the initiative for nine months, after which it will be incorporated into UK Biobank's public database.