NEW YORK, March 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Harris & Harris Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:TINY), an investor in transformative companies enabled by disruptive science, notes the announcement by its portfolio company, Metabolon, Inc., that it has signed an agreement with newly-launched Human Longevity Inc. (HLI), whereby Metabolon will provide biochemical profiling services to assist HLI in its mission to address diseases of aging by building the world's largest and most complete human genotype, microbiome and phenotype database. In the initial term of the agreement, Metabolon will perform small molecule analysis of 10,000 subjects and collaborate with HLI to map changes in the small molecules to end points of disease and gene mutations.
HLI's cofounders are J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Robert Hariri, M.D., Ph.D., and Peter H. Diamandis, M.D. Dr. Venter, who is well known for leading Celera to the successful sequencing of the human genome, has been a member of Metabolon's Scientific Advisory Board since 2003.
Under the agreement, Metabolon will apply its metabolomics technology to augment the genetic and microbiome information HLI is collecting. Metabolon's approach identifies the complement of metabolites present in a human biological specimen. Metabolomics is important because quantifying and understanding the full picture of circulating biochemicals in the body can help researchers get a clearer picture of that individual's health status and provide markers and pathways associated with disease and drug action. In addition, Metabolon will collaborate with HLI to identify small molecule biomarkers of disease, which Metabolon may then use to develop small molecule diagnostic tests."Recently, Metabolon has signed a series of crucial partnerships, and these partnerships not only validate Metabolon's metabolomic engine, but they provide important data that can be mined to develop further high-value diagnostic tests for the pharmaceutical industry and for individuals," said Douglas Jamison, CEO of Harris & Harris Group.