University of Oxford Publishes Findings from Its INTERBIO-21st Study Supported by Sapient’s Discovery Metabolomics

September 1, 2022—San Diego, CA—A study led by researchers at the University of Oxford, UK has been published in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, detailing findings which identify putative metabolic pathways that influence fetal growth trajectories and childhood health outcomes. Sapient provided mass spectrometry-based discovery metabolomics with data analysis and chemical interpretation for the study.

The research is part of the INTERBIO-21st Study by the Oxford Maternal & Perinatal Health Institute (OMPHI) and Nuffield Department of Women’s & Reproductive Health, which aims to improve the phenotypic characterization of the fetal growth restriction/small for gestational age (FGR/SGA) and preterm birth syndromes at the molecular, biochemical, and clinical level.

Sapient performed complex non-targeted mass spectrometry analysis of thousands of circulating small molecule biomarkers in over 3,500 biological samples obtained from mothers early during pregnancy, enrolled as part of the INTERBIO-21st Study. This analysis was supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The data generated identified specific patterns of lipid metabolites that closely tracked with fetal growth trajectories and point to potential mechanisms that regulate fetal growth during development. The lipid signatures could also potentially represent a biomarker of metabolic or immunological differences between maternal-fetal dyads, including factors such as pre-pregnancy BMI or maternal nutritional status.

“We are very excited to support the INTERBIO-21st Study team in its mission to understand fetal development and improve maternal-child health around the world,” said Mohit Jain, MD, PhD, Founder and CEO of Sapient. “Population-scale human studies have tremendous power to unlock the underpinnings of human health and disease, and Sapient’s technologies and biocomputational approaches provide a key to this knowledge. We are looking forward to our continued work supporting these international efforts to improve human health.”

The full paper, entitled “Fetal abdominal growth trajectories, associated with maternal metabolite signatures early in pregnancy, are footprints for childhood growth and adiposity”, can be accessed here.


About Sapient

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 next-generation mass spectrometry technologies capable of assaying tens of thousands of small molecule biomarkers in human biosamples, advanced biocomputational learning, and a proprietary Human Biology Database with extensive data from several hundred thousand biosamples. Together these approaches enable rapid discovery and validation of circulating biomarkers of health, disease, and drug responsiveness at unprecedented speed and scale. For more information, visit

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