The Million Veteran Program: Metabolon to Analyze Samples

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Metabolon, Inc., announced today that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been contracted through its alliance with AKESOgen to perform large-scale metabolomic profiling on biological samples from U.S. veterans as part of the Million Veteran Program (MVP).

Metabolon will analyze the samples to identify biomarkers of wellness and disease. This data will become part of the MVP’s extensive database of genetic, military and environmental exposure, lifestyle, and health information.

Metabolomics is the study of small molecules called metabolites. This technology measures changes in metabolite levels and maps them to the appropriate biochemical pathways to give researchers and clinicians a better understanding of health and the influences of genes, microbiome, diet, lifestyle and drug treatment.

As part of this contract, Metabolon has formed a strategic partnership with AKESOgen, Inc., who are currently providing genotyping services for the MVP and have genotyped over 300,000 samples since 2014 for the VA.

“Large population health studies, such as MVP, recognize the importance of collecting many types of data, because there are multiple influences on health beyond genetics,” said John Ryals, PhD, president and CEO at Metabolon. “Metabolon and AKESOgen are helping this pioneering program maximize the value of genomics, metabolomics and other health information to identify disease risk factors and new targets for preventive health care.”

Launched in 2011, MVP is a landmark research effort aimed at better understanding how genes affect health. Up to a million veterans are expected to enroll in the VA study over the next five to six years from over 50 VA medical centers nationwide. With more than 640,000 enrollees to date, MVP already far exceeds the enrollment numbers of any single VA study or research program in the past. MVP provides researchers with a rich resource of genetic, health, lifestyle, and military-exposure data collected from questionnaires, medical records and -omic analyses. By combining this information into a single database, MVP promises to advance knowledge about the complex links between genes and health. For more information about MVP, visit www.research.va.gov/MVP.

Source: Metabolon, adapted.

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