Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Population Health and Nightingale announce agreement for comprehensive metabolic biomarker profiling

The Nuffield Department of Population Health (NDPH) of the University of Oxford and Nightingale Health announced today that Nightingale’s proprietary biomarker analysis technology will be installed at the NDPH Wolfson Laboratory at the University of Oxford.

The aim of NDPH is to generate and disseminate reliable evidence from observational epidemiology and from randomized trials that leads to practicable methods of avoiding premature death and disability.

Nightingale’s biomarker platform provides an unprecedented opportunity for comprehensive metabolic profiling of large population studies. The scalable NMR metabolomics platform simultaneously captures over 220 metabolic biomarkers from a single blood sample, transforming the possibility to understand molecular mechanisms and treatment effects of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other metabolic diseases.

In comparison to many other metabolomics technologies, Nightingale’s platform is fully automated and measures the biomarkers in absolute concentration directly applicable in various applications of medicine.

The NDPH Wolfson Laboratories Scientific Director, Michael Hill, said,

‘This is an excellent opportunity for us to use Nightingale’s bioanalysis platform, which can provide much more data for a relatively small amount of sample than current methods. Ultimately this data will allow us to better understand and treat chronic conditions.’

At NDPH, Nightingale’s platform will be employed for biomarker profiling of various large epidemiological studies and clinical trials such as the China Kadoorie Biobank. The goal is to analyse hundreds of thousands of samples in only a couple of years. As the platform becomes established, it may be utilised to replace many current clinical chemistry assays, such as the routine cholesterol panel, providing cost-saving opportunities in research.

“We are excited to bring our metabolic profiling technology available on-site at University of Oxford to be utilised for world-class science,”

said Teemu Suna, CEO and Chairman of Nightingale Health.

“The possibility to run routinely and cost-effectively any number of blood samples to gather extensive quantitative metabolic biomarker data creates an unprecedented opportunity for research and clinical applications.”

The University of Oxford is well placed to utilise Nightingale’s technology extensively, hosting blood samples from millions of people. The agreement enables rapid biomarker analysis of blood samples in multiple flagship projects at Oxford.

The Nuffield Department of Population Health

The Nuffield Department of Population Health (NDPH) provides an excellent environment for multi-disciplinary research and teaching and in the 2014 REF (Research Excellence Framework) was ranked first for research in the area of public health, health services and primary care. NDPH has over 500 staff working in a number of world-renowned population health research groups, including the Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit (CTSU), the Cancer Epidemiology Unit (CEU), the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU) and other groups working on public health, health economics, ethics and health record linkage. It is also a key partner in the new Oxford University Big Data Institute.

The wide range of opportunities for research within the department includes access to very large data-sets from clinical trials, meta-analyses and epidemiological cohorts. These research programmes are well supported by scientific teams which include clinicians, epidemiologists, statisticians, analyst programmers and research coordinators, and by excellent computing and laboratory facilities.