02/25/09: Metabolon Unveils Prostate Test
Metabolon, a Research Triangle Park company that develops biomarkers for disease detection, has begun offering, as a research tool, a test based on its discovery of a molecule in urine that may indicate a man's level of prostate cancer aggressiveness.
Metabolon and fellow researchers at the University of Michigan reported previously on the biomarker discovery, saying it could lead to simple, non-invasive tests for men to determine how or whether to treat the disease. Metabolon has not yet received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, however, to market such a test for clinical diagnostic purposes.
The research lab version of the test, called mFocus TST, "provides researchers with a novel way to gain insight into the biochemical progression of cancer," said Jeff Shuster, director of diagnostics development at Metabolon. "This test was designed as a powerful tool for better understanding of metastatic cancers as it identifies elevated levels of sarcosine, shown to be indicative of aggressive cancers of the prostate."
Metabolon is a private, venture-backed company developing the technology called metablolomics -- the study of small molecules produced by cellular metabolism.