Bioscience Park Center
12635 E. Montview Blvd.
Aurora, CO 80045
10900 University Blvd.
MSN 4D4 Manassas, VA 20110
Chevy Chase Clinical Research
5550 Friendship Blvd
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Metabiomics is an early stage molecular diagnostics company that is developing in-vitro diagnostics, screening tests, and health assays that leverage breakthroughs in next-generation DNA sequencing, computational systems biology, and human microbiome sciences.
Over the past 10 years, the company’s founders have developed a powerful technology platform for interrogating the human gut microbiome. We have analyzed over 5,000 clinical samples associating the microbiome with various gastrointestinal diseases in collaboration with some of the leading universities and medical institutions across the United States and Canada. With non-dilutive funding from grants, and contracts, we have developed our intellectual property portfolio and built up substantial clinical evidence to support a pipeline of molecular diagnostics products and services.
Metabiomics is a pioneer and early leader in the emerging field of microbiomics, metagenomics and systems biology, specializing in molecular interrogation of microbial communities. Metabiomics was organized in 2004 operating then as BioSpherex LLC to focus on human microbiome and NGS research with subsequent key technology events with the filing of foundational patents in the emerging fields of microbiomics starting in mid-2005-2006. Early research successes lead to development of advanced DNA fingerprinting by capillary electrophoresis and LH-PCR analytical methods for DNA assays of complex microbial communities. This analytical platform was later expanded with our development of our patented MultiTag™ sequencing (‘MTS’) sample barcoding and 16s rRNA Primer technology to take advantage of high-throughput sequencing technology.
By 2005 the research emphasis of Metabiomics had shifted to human microbiome research for health and medical applications in alliance the GMU Microbiome Analysis Center (MBAC) at George Mason University. This effort was later expanded in 2006 to include R&D collaboration with Rush University Medical Center to pursue human microbiome clinical research with emphasis on gastrointestinal diseases. These collaborations have since been expanded to include other medical institutions, including Virginia Commonwealth University, Case Western Reserve Medical University, University of Calgary Gastroenterology Research Center, Florida International University, the Mayo Clinic, Boston University, USDA, and NRL among others.
The opportunity that stands before microbiologists today is akin to a reinvention of the microscope…Metagenomics will generate knowledge of microbial interactions so that they can be harnessed to improve human health.
– National Academy of Science, 2007
There are many mysterious chronic and incurable diseases in modern medicine, including cancer, gastrointestinal, autoimmune, and metabolic disease for which science simply lacks fundamental knowledge about the causes and mechanisms of action to solve. A major breakthrough in scientific approach is often needed to solve such complex problems. The emergence of the new science of metagenomics presents just such an opportunity to profoundly change the future the medicine and health care.
In 2003, the NIH announced the first sequencing of the entire human genome that, in turn, enabled a scientific revolution in genomic medicine based on genome-wide association studies (GWAS) linking gene variants with health and disease. Since then, >1200 GWA studies have found >4000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that have been associated with >200 different genetic traits and diseases. However, contrary to early expectations, genetic SNPs could only be associated with predisposition or risks of disease explaining 5-15% of the combined genetic, physiological, and environmental causes of disease.
During this same period the costs of DNA sequencing plummeted and became more widely accessible. Molecular ecologists adapted these tools to study biodiversity and the microbial communities. By 2007, the National Academy of Sciences recognized the emergence of the “New Science of Metagenomics” which was made possible by low-cost Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) applied to analysis for the first time a plethora of unculturable microbes and entire microbial communities. Metagenomics represented a true paradigm shift in both environmental and medical sciences. It was soon recognized that humans functioned as “Supra-Organisms” whereby the human genome intimately interacted with the human microbiome that functioned as newly discovered organs in the human body. Our microbiome has 10x the cells (~100 Trillion) and 100x the genes as its human host, and interacts in complex molecular and metabolic pathways in functional metagenomics. The human microbiome represented our “second genome” that had co-evolved with humans and was essential to human life and health.
By 2008, the National Institutes of Health responded to the NAS metagenomics challenge by launching the $175M Human Microbiome (HMP) project that was soon followed by the $50M European Metagenomics of the Human Intestinal Tract (MetaHIT) project that ignited a second revolution in genomic medicine by linking microbiome functions to health and disease. The overall goal of the HMP and MetaHIT project was to investigate human microbiome associations with human health or disease, which have subsequently generated many other NIH and EU sponsored human microbiome research programs for specific diseases.