Cross-Platform Evaluation of Commercial Metabolomics Platforms to Support Precision Therapeutics Research
Standardization of diagnostic tools could lead to more targeted treatments across neuropsychiatric disorders
NEW YORK, NY, September 30, 2021—As part of its RAPID-DxTM (Research Alliance for Precision Therapeutics, Innovation and Diagnostics) program, researchers from Cohen Veterans Bioscience (CVB) and collaborators conducted a blinded cross-platform analysis (or “bakeoff”) of commercially available assay platforms to inform selection in the conduct of neuropsychiatric biomarker research.
The findings, published online on September 8th in Metabolites [DOI: 10.3390/metabo11090609], investigate coverage across metabolite classes and relative accuracy and precision of the platforms. The study also evaluated the specific utility of these metabolomic platforms for analysis of metabolites implicated in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) research.
CVB led the research in collaboration with other prominent metabolomics experts.
RAPID-Dx is CVB’s flagship biomarker discovery initiative aimed at fast-tracking the advancement of precision diagnostics and tailored therapeutics for brain diseases. Metabolomics can characterize the global biochemical activity of an individual and is sensitive to external factors, including lifestyle and medicines used. Accurate and standardized measurement platforms are important tools to advance biomarker research, understand disease mechanisms, and assist in identifying therapeutic targets.
“There is a strong need to drive accuracy in biomarker discovery. Through our RAPID-DX initiative, we believe we can improve the methods used across the neuropsychiatric research field to build toward a biologically based understanding of disease with a more precision-based approach to diagnosis and treatment,” said Magali Haas, MD, PhD, President & CEO at CVB and a co-author of the paper.
Currently, there is significant variability in the techniques used to measure metabolites. Performance varies greatly by metabolite and metabolite class, and the number and type of metabolites measured can also vary over time. Variability in the platforms used for measurement makes cross-study comparisons and reliability of the output difficult.
The study investigators designed and conducted a blinded evaluation of performance metrics such as intra-/inter-assay precision, accuracy, and linearity, based on data received from 5 prominent commercial vendors who were provided blinded blood samples from individuals with neuropsychiatric disease and a healthy control group.
The findings demonstrate important variability across platforms that should be considered when designing exploratory or confirmatory biomarker studies.
“Our findings illustrate the platforms with optimal performance based on the specific metabolites of interest for PTSD,” said Andreas Jeromin, PhD, CVB Chief Scientific Officer and lead author of the paper. “With the results of the publication and our cross-platform investigation, we have optimized metabolite biomarker discovery for PTSD. We hope that the benefits of our platform will extend to others in the field who could leverage this approach to determine which platforms cover their metabolites of interest and the associated performance.”
The investigators will make the data generated in their study publicly available to aid the metabolomics and clinical research communities. The RAPID-Dx team is also creating an online tool that will be accessible in the BRAINCommons, a cloud-based research and discovery data- sharing platform for the brain health community early next year.
“Biologists and biomedical investigators who want to use metabolomics tools in their study can sometimes be overwhelmed by the variety of commercial options available,” said Kévin Contrepois, PhD, a coauthor on the study. “This cross-platform evaluation work provides important information about coverage and performance, which may help inform platform selection.” (Dr. Contrepois conducted the research in his previous role as Director, Metabolomics/Lipidomics at the Stanford University School of Medicine).
The paper is titled “Cross-platform evaluation of commercial targeted and untargeted metabolomics approaches to optimize investigation of psychiatric disease.”
Other external authors included Reza M. Salek, PhD (International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)/World Health Organization, France) and Christoph W. Turck, PhD (Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Proteomics and Biomarkers, Munich, Germany).
The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in the paper.
This work was supported by Cohen Veterans Bioscience.
About Cohen Veterans Bioscience
Cohen Veterans Bioscience is a non-profit 501(c)(3) biomedical research and technology organization dedicated to advancing brain health by fast-tracking precision diagnostics and tailored therapeutics.
RAPID-Dx is CVB’s flagship biomarker discovery collaborative aimed at fast-tracking the advancement of objective diagnostics for PTSD and TBI. The public-private partnership leverages the value of existing data and stored biosamples to identify and validate candidate biomarkers and design prospective validation studies through four workstreams. Industry and foundation partners who are interested to join the coalition should contact us.