Gene Logic has taken an equity investment of an undisclosed amount in Metabometrix, a London-based startup, as part of a research collaboration to link metabolic and gene expression data.
The investment is an unusual move for Gene Logic. “We are very selective in the companies with whom we make that additional relationship, and we identified Metabometrix as a worthy entity to take a small equity position in,” said Bob Burrows, director of corporate communications for the Gaithersburg, Md.-based company. “Based on the still-unproven technology that they have, we see potential value in it in terms of an equity investment, but more importantly as a source of generating a wholly complementary dataset to our gene expression information.”
Metabometrix uses high-field nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and chemometric methods to generate, classify, and interpret high-density metabolic data. Metabometrix will apply its technology to samples provided by Gene Logic and other sources.
The data derived from the research collaboration is expected to complement the ToxExpress module of Gene Logic’s GeneExpress database, which contains information on human and experimental animal tissue samples treated with known toxic compounds for predictive toxicology assessment. Burrow said the specifics of the data generation process and the eventual form it would take are still being determined. While he confirmed the collaboration would result in new content for GeneExpress, it is still unclear whether it will comprise a new module or exist within ToxExpress.