Roche Diagnostics and Entelos receive Best Practices Award from Bio-IT World for predictive biosimulation

Foster City 16 June 2004The collaboration between Entelos Inc. and Roche Diagnostics using the Entelos PhysioLab technology for diagnostic test simulation and biomarker identification received a Best Practices Award from Bio-IT World Magazine. The award is designed to recognize innovative uses of life science and information technologies aimed at streamlining and accelerating the drug discovery research and development process.

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"We are very pleased to have been recognized for this research effort", stated Terry Fetterhoff, Director, Technology Management, Chief Technology Officer at Roche Diagnostics. "Roche Diagnostics is continually seeking cutting-edge research technologies that will speed the delivery of diagnostic tests and kits to the market. We found that Entelos' predictive biosimulation technology can rapidly deliver data and results valuable to those research efforts."

Awardees were selected from 36 submissions from organisations ranging from large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to academic institutions, detailing best practices in one of five categories: Discovery and Development, IT Infrastructure and Informatics, Knowledge Management and Collaboration, Regulatory Compliance, and Clinical Research and Trials. Roche and Entelos won in the Clinical Research and Trials category based on their work in determining biomarkers of insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients.

Researchers from Entelos, working with Roche scientists, investigated the relationship between twenty plasma measurements and insulin sensitivity in over sixty virtual patients representing a diverse population of diabetic phenotypes and pathophysiologies. The objective of the research was to determine whether combinations of commonly measured plasma values such as glucose, insulin, free fatty acids and triglycerides obtained from a single blood sample could appropriately and accurately predict a patient's insulin sensitivity, a critical determinant of diabetes severity.

Currently, the gold standard for determining insulin sensitivity involves an invasive procedure where insulin and glucose are constantly infused into a patient over several hours. In addition, blood samples are taken frequently over the course of the infusion for the measurement of glucose. The Entelos-Roche effort identified two novel and easily measured biomarkers for insulin sensitivity using a single blood sample.

"Although there have been several efforts to identify a straightforward, non-invasive diagnostic, there is no consensus on the optimal combination of single-time-point measurements that best predict insulin sensitivity", stated Dr. Mikhail Gishizky, Chief Scientific Officer of Entelos. "Entelos and Roche were looking for a means to provide the clinician a simple method for determining insulin sensitivity that required merely the proper interpretation of commonly measured plasma metabolites and hormones. Measurements that are typically collected in a standard blood draw. We identified two biomarkers that fit this criterion, one biomarker was based on measurements after an overnight fast and the other based on measurements after a breakfast meal. This biosimulation approach, which is also applicable to the prediction of other clinically important measures, such as first-phase insulin secretion, has the potential to improve the utility and value of diagnostic kits in the assessment of type 2 diabetes."

The Metabolism PhysioLab platform, a large-scale mathematical model of human metabolism, details the pathophysiology of complex heterogenic human metabolic diseases and is capable of simulating human in vivo plasma levels for more than 20 metabolites and hormones.

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is an innovation-driven health care group. Its core businesses are pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is number one in the global diagnostics market, a supplier of pharmaceuticals for cancer and an expert in virology and transplantation. As a supplier of products and services for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people's health and quality of life. Roche employs roughly 65,000 people in 150 countries. The Group has alliances and research and development agreements with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai.

Roche's Diagnostics Division, specialized in in-vitro diagnostics with a uniquely broad product portfolio, supplies a wide array of innovative testing products and services to researchers, physicians, patients, hospitals and laboratories world-wide.

Entelos Inc. is revolutionizing pharmaceutical R&D by employing disease level system biology technologies to identify and validate targets, biomarkers and compounds for human efficacy. The breakthrough PhysioLab systems biology platforms employ sophisticated mathematical models to integrate information from diverse scientific and clinical sources to represent the complex and dynamic relationships within human biological networks.

The company's primary mission is to increase the efficiency of pharmaceutical research and development and to expedite proprietary human therapeutics to the market. Entelos has multiple PhysioLab platforms in immunology, inflammation and metabolism and are currently developing new platforms in cardiovascular, CNS and Metabolic Syndrome. More news on Entelos is available in the VMW March 2004 article Entelos enhances high-throughput systems biology platform for combinatoric analyses of virtual patients


Leslie Versweyveld

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