Metabolic Blurred Lines: Is Biotransformation the next Met ID?
You are the hunter in a landscape of scientific gatherers, the stealthy SEAL of DMPK, the nimble ninja of ADME. You are a Metabolite ID scientist. Traditionally, Met ID labs have been a fixture of any pharmaceutical company worth its salt. Now, imagine that your proud band of comrades has been phased out, split up, and distributed throughout your organization. Chances are, you don’t need to imagine this because it is already happening.
It’s a sign of the times that labs are running leaner and more collaboratively in the pursuit of incorporating Met ID processes within a more efficient framework. A recent survey of Met ID scientists by the European Bioanalysis Forum found that metabolic profiling and metabolite quantification work are increasingly being performed under the same group by the same scientists. “Biotransformation” has since become a blanket term for the blurred lines between Met ID and profiling groups of yesteryear, despite the distinct analysis methods traditionally required for each group.
Profiling scientists, as the survey confirms, resoundingly favor a qualitative, high-resolution LC-MS solution while metabolite quantification relies on a variety of high-sensitivity solutions. Factor in variables like high-throughput requirements, individualized sample prep, time-consuming method development, and tricky chiral molecule analytes and, suddenly, your lab faces a steep knowledge curve and likely a lack of space for the right tools.
What should you come to expect?
As a Met ID scientist, your confidence and success is based on consistency in analysis, from sample preparation to processing. In transitioning to the Biotransformation laboratory, you demand more; not only consistency but also flexibility. Successful biotransformation scientists are looking beyond their traditional workflows in clever ways and discovering exciting new capabilities that Waters’ innovative technologies provide:
- True quantitative data can also be obtained on your previously qualitative QTof by leveraging the selectivity gains of ion mobility.
- Day-long extractions for complex samples can be reduced to as little as one hour by simply adopting the two dimensional approach of time-decoupled chromatography.
Your Met ID skills will serve you well into the future. You will vigilantly target and characterize metabolites as you have been trained to do while running high-throughput analyses when required. You need a flexible platform to take advantage of the new demands on Met ID scientist, which can address your diverse needs and high expectations. Is your current laboratory set up to handle these changes?