Press Release | July 11, 2022
Sapient Receives $9.2M Grant for Population-Scale Discovery Mass Spectrometry Analysis
The grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will support studies to identify biomarkers that can inform novel nutritional, disease-prevention, and disease-treatment interventions
July 11, 2022—San Diego, CA—Sapient, a biomarker discovery organization focused on rapid, large-scale biomarker profiling, has been awarded a new grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to use its rapid liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (rLC-MS) based platforms for population-scale discovery metabolomics analysis in broad support of the foundation’s programs across maternal, newborn, and child health, nutrition, and vaccine development, among other priority research areas. A large portion of the $9.2 million grant will provide bioanalytical capacity for studies aimed at identifying metabolic pathways and biomarkers to inform novel nutritional, disease-prevention, and disease-treatment interventions for health issues that disproportionately affect women and infants in developing countries.
Sapient’s untargeted, high throughput discovery metabolomics platform will be applied to analyze tens of thousands of biosamples collected through programs conducted by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grantees in its Global Health Discovery Collaboratory. In addition to rLC-MS analysis, the new grant will enable Sapient to provide grantees with support for biocomputational analyses and molecule identification of key discovered biomarkers, as well as capacity building for analytical and data handling capabilities among the grantees. Sapient will serve as an expert resource and educator to the Gates Foundation’s collaborating partners and conduct knowledge transfer on data analysis techniques for untargeted metabolomics datasets.
The new grant represents an extension of prior funding awarded to Sapient from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which was used to provide population-scale metabolomics discovery analyses for 27 independent global health discovery and translation projects initiated by the foundation’s grantees in the areas of COVID-19, maternal, newborn, and child health, infectious disease, and hypoxia. Sapient’s support in these programs led to key discoveries including identification of novel biomarkers of early-stage disease, biological processes, and protective factors that are being used to develop diagnostic field tests and optimal disease prevention and treatment interventions.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to continue our exciting collaborations with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and to support the incredible work being done through their grantees to tackle critical global health challenges in underserved populations,” said Mo Jain, MD, PhD, Founder and CEO of Sapient. “This grant allows us to perform population-level analyses for a highly unique scale of discovery that amplifies our ability to identify robust, specific small molecule biomarkers of health and disease. Most importantly, it enables us to work with the Gates Foundation and its grantees to interpret our discoveries and make them actionable in advancing their research to impact global health outcomes.”
Sapient is an end-to-end biomarker discovery organization dedicated to accelerating the mapping of circulating chemistries in humans through rapid, large-scale small molecule biomarker profiling. Its platform combines advanced mass spectrometry technologies – able to assay >11,000 small molecule factors per biosample – biocomputational learning, and a proprietary Human Biology Database with data from several hundred thousand biosamples to discover circulating biomarkers of health, disease, and drug responsiveness at unprecedented speed and scale. For more information, visit sapient.bio.
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