RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., April 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Icoria Inc. today announced that it will use its metabolomics and gene expression methodologies to characterize ADMET Technologies, Inc.'s human adult hepatocytes, to improve their value as a predictive toxicology screening tool in the early stages of drug development.
ADMET Technologies is a commercial supplier of primary human hepatocytes for research purposes and is developing in vitro and in vivo tools for the improvement of drug discovery and development. Icoria's research will enable ADMET to customize its batches of cells to a customer's specific needs.
"Icoria's gene and metabolomic analyses will allow us to provide customers with data on specific lots of cells and therefore a more valuable, fully characterized product," said Mark Johnston, President of ADMET Technologies. "By enabling more sensitive and specific predictive toxicology studies, we can help our customers shorten drug development timelines and ensure that only the most promising candidates make it to the clinics."
Under the agreement, ADMET will provide Icoria with liver cells from patients with a diversity of clinical conditions such as fatty liver disease and diabetes. Icoria will use its metabolomics, gene expression and pathway analysis technologies to develop biological profiles and correlate these with differing sensitivities to various classes of known hepatotoxic drugs. This information will be used by ADMET to identify cells that could be used in predictive toxicology assays that would enable pharmaceutical companies to identify subtle or idiosyncratic liver toxicity at an early stage in the development process. Icoria will retain rights to commercial development of any novel diagnostic biomarkers that are discovered during this research.
"We are pleased to be working with ADMET Technologies on this important project to improve drug development," said Thomas Colatsky, Ph.D., Vice President of Healthcare Research. "We believe our research and analyses will provide a rich source of novel biomarkers as well as new information about the pathways associated with different hepatic disease states and individual patient response to drugs. This could add substantial value to drug discovery and development by the early elimination of potentially dangerous drugs."
Drug-induced liver injury remains one of the most common reasons why drugs fail in development or are removed from the market post-approval. "One pharmaceutical company estimates that clinical failures based on liver toxicity alone have cost them more than $2 billion in the last decade," according to the FDA's March 2004 Critical Path white paper, "Challenge and Opportunity on the Critical Path to New Medical Products."
Icoria, Inc. is a biotechnology company dedicated to finding new ways of detecting and treating human disease. Icoria uses its ability to analyze biological function at the level of gene expression, biochemical pathways and tissue structure to discover and validate novel biomarkers, drugs and drug targets. In addition to its internal drug discovery program, the company provides services to clients in the pharmaceutical, biotech, agriculture, academic and public health research sectors, and has major contracts with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and Pioneer Hi-Bred International (a subsidiary of DuPont). Icoria also has a major grant from the National Institute of Standards & Technology's Advanced Technology Program. For more information, visit http://www.icoria.com/ .
ADMET Technologies is a Research Triangle Park, NC based biotechnology company developing cell-based tools for the improvement of in vitro and in vivo assays for drug development.
This press release contains forward-looking statements including but not limited to the Company's expectations for the potential outcomes of the cooperative research agreement. Such forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to a number of risks, factors and uncertainties that may cause actual results, events and performance to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. These risks, factors and uncertainties include, but are not limited to Icoria's ability to identify biomarkers, Icoria's early stage of development, history of net losses, technological and product development uncertainties, reliance on research collaborations, uncertainty of additional funding and ability to protect its patents and proprietary rights. Certain of these and other risks are identified in Icoria's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company does not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this release to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in our expectations, except as may be required by law.