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ESA Receives 2008 Frost & Sullivan North American Technology Innovation Award for Development of Integrated Metabolomics Systems

CHELMSFORD, Mass., Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- ESA Biosciences, a Magellan Biosciences company and leader in novel HPLC detection systems that improve results for pharmaceutical development and QA/QC, life science, and analytical-chemistry customers worldwide, announced that it has received the 2008 Frost & Sullivan North American Technology Innovation Award in the field of integrated metabolomics systems. Frost & Sullivan will present the award to ESA's Vice President of HPLC Products and Services, Dr. Ian Acworth, at the 2008 Growth Excellence Awards banquet on September 16, 2008, in San Francisco, California.

Metabolites are an organism's low-molecular-weight molecules (e.g., amino acids, peptides, lipids, carbohydrates) -- biochemical byproducts that result from catabolism (breakdown), anabolism (build up), and from gut fauna and flora. By understanding and detecting metabolic differences between normal and diseased states, researchers hope to provide earlier and more-precise diagnosis and prevention. In drug discovery and development, metabolomics may help scientists to understand how and when drugs work, interact, and cause side effects.

According to Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst, Sandhya Kamath, ESA is being honored for its leadership in developing an integrated platform based on HPLC with electrochemical-array detection, alone, or in parallel with mass spectrometry. "ESA's technical innovations in electrochemical cell design and optimized, applications-focused systems are bringing the great benefits of electrochemistry (it is a highly selective and sensitive technique) to metabolomics -- an exciting new discipline producing breakthroughs in science. For example, a Coulochem(R) III system equipped with ESA's new Boron Doped Diamond cell enables life-science researchers to measure difficult-to-analyze molecules like thiols and disulfides, which are critical to a variety of biologically and clinically important processes -- from oxidative metabolism, to cardiovascular and neurodegenerative-disease mechanisms, to signal transduction. While ESA's Synthesis cells reduce the time and complexity of synthesizing significant quantities of difficult-to-obtain metabolites from a variety of parent compounds; with traditional systems it can take six months to a year to generate enough material for a typical drug-metabolite study. In these areas and many others, ESA is making a substantial contribution to advance the field of metabolomics."

"The Frost & Sullivan Innovation Award comes as ESA is completing metabolomics work made possible by a grant from the National Institutes of Health Roadmap for Medical Research initiative (awarded in 2005)," said ESA's Dr. Acworth. "Our studies show that EC-Array and MS are complementary in nature, and the combined use of two sensitive and selective detection techniques can provide greater coverage of the metabolome than either technique alone. This can be very useful in new FDA-mandated drug safety testing to evaluate active/toxic human drug metabolites. Studies have shown that drugs can metabolize differently in humans than in other animals, resulting in potentially toxic levels of drug metabolites that can't be identified by animal studies alone. Electrochemical detection in line with mass spectrometry streamlines the metabolite analysis, synthesis, and evaluation process. In order to determine the clinically relevant metabolite levels in human plasma/tissues, metabolites can be synthesized and identified and then matched to what's seen in relevant animal studies. When the appropriate metabolites are identified, scale-up can be done for clinical trials to evaluate metabolite toxicity in humans."

Dr. Acworth continued, "We are honored to be recognized by Frost & Sullivan, and continue to be inspired by our customers. Many of the innovative applications for our technology have their origins in customer labs. Their breakthrough research opens up new investigative questions that, in turn, spur us to continue to push the limits of technology so we can meet the customer's analytical challenges."

About ESA (

ESA Biosciences, Inc. enables answers to pressing applications challenges by applying its expertise in specialty detection and electrochemistry, combined with components, kits, and reagents, for analytical laboratories, commercial diagnostics laboratories, and the clinical point-of-care setting. ESA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Magellan Biosciences, Inc.

About the Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation Award (

Frost & Sullivan's Technology Innovation Award is bestowed upon a company that has pioneered the development and introduction of an innovative technology into the market; a technology that has either impacted or has the potential to impact several market sectors. This award recognizes a company's successful technology development that is expected to bring significant contributions to the industry in terms of adoption, change, and competitive posture. It also recognizes the company's overall technical excellence and its commitment toward technology innovation.

SOURCE Magellan Biosciences
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