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Early Biomarker of Insulin Resistance and Glucose Intolerance Identified in a Nondiabetic Population

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – Metabolon, Inc., the leader in metabolomics-based biomarker discovery and analysis, today announced the publication of research that identified a novel, early biomarker for insulin resistance and glucose intolerance in a nondiabetic population. Co-authored by physicians and scientists from EGIR (European Group for the Study of Insulin Resistance) and Metabolon, the paper, “alpha-hydroxybutyrate Is an Early Biomarker of Insulin Resistance and Glucose Intolerance in a Nondiabetic Population”, appears on the PLoS One website ( (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010883 (May 28th 2010)). Please click here for the article.

Metabolon’s biochemical profiling technology was deployed on plasma samples from 399 nondiabetic subjects from EGIR’s large prospective RISC (Relationship between Insulin Sensitivity and Cardiovascular Disease) cohort, representing a broad spectrum of insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. Alpha-hydroxybutyrate was the statistically top-ranked biochemical for classifying subjects as insulin resistant or insulin sensitive. Commenting on the study results, senior RISC author Ele Ferrannini, M.D. summarized, “From this unbiased, biochemical screen, alpha-hydroxybutyrate, an intermediate metabolite of amino acid metabolism, was the strongest biochemical that marks as a single metabolic fingerprint of in vivo human insulin resistance.”

Insulin resistance is an abnormal metabolic condition and a recognized clinical predictor of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, with association with obesity, certain cancers, and other metabolic diseases. Metabolon is currently developing a fasted plasma diagnostic test for insulin resistance to allow physicians to more accurately assess their at-risk patient population. As described in the article, alpha-hydroxybutyrate and other metabolites have been identified as a metabolic signature of insulin resistance.

About Metabolon
Metabolon is a diagnostics and services company offering the industry’s leading biochemical profiling platform. Metabolon’s patented platform provides a global analysis of complex biological samples for the discovery of markers and pathways associated with drug action and disease. This metabolomics-driven approach enables the identification of biomarkers useful for the development of a wide range of diagnostics and provides insight into complex biochemical processes such as drug action, toxicology and bioprocess optimization. For more information about Metabolon, please visit or contact Matt Zaske at or (919) 595-2200.

About EGIR
The EGIR group was formed several years ago by a group of investigators from different research backgrounds - epidemiology, endocrinology, basic science, public health - interested in insulin resistance. The first combined activity of the group was a data pooling project from euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp experiments performed in 21 centers across Europe. EGIR is managed by a Steering Committee and its scientific activities are managed by a separate Project Management Board. In 2001 the EGIR project Relationship between Insulin Sensitivity and Cardiovascular Disease (RISC) was awarded funding by the EU 5th Framework to carry out a project examining the effects of insulin resistance in healthy people (without diabetes or hypertension). The project started on 1 February 2002 and the 3-year follow up examinations were completed in December 2007. For more information about EGIR, please visit

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