Metabolite Identification
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Metabolite Identification

Metabolite identification plays a key role in drug discovery, preclinical development and clinical development. Metabolite identification studies are designed to screen metabolites and better understand the biotransformation capabilities of molecules. BOC Sciences provides rapid and efficient metabolite analysis services, and our scientific team performs metabolite identification studies to identify and confirm metabolic sites and corresponding structures. This information provides our clients with a sound scientific basis and accelerates drug development projects.

Introduction of Metabolite Identification

A metabolite is any substance produced during metabolism (digestion or other body chemical processes) and can also refer to the a by-product produced when a drug is broken down or metabolized by the body. Understanding drug metabolism by determining the formation of metabolites in in vitro or in vivo studies is essential for the interpretation of pharmacological, pharmacokinetic and toxicological data. In addition, pharmacologically active metabolites can significantly contribute to the overall treatment and side effects of a drug, and it can also be developed as a drug. Therefore, metabolites are critical to fully understand the mechanism of action of drugs.

Metabolite Identification

Drug Biotransformation and Metabolites

The biotransformation reactions leading to metabolite formation can be divided into two main categories, namely phase I and phase II. Phase I reactions are functionalization reactions in which polar chemical groups are introduced by insertion of new polar functional groups or by alteration of existing functional groups by oxidation, reduction and hydrolysis reactions. In phase II reaction, small endogenous polar molecules are conjugated to functional groups formed in the first stage reaction; or direct conjugation of endogenous molecules occurs.

Examples of drug metabolites generated through biotransformation:

DrugClinical useBiotransformationMetabolite
PropafenoneAntiarrhythmicAromatic hydroxylation5-hydroxypropafenone
AcetohexamideAntihyperglycemicReduction of carbonyl to hydroxyl groupHydroxyacetohexamide

Our Services

BOC Sciences' metabolite studies identify the major metabolites of a test drug, the specific metabolic pathways and the specific enzymes responsible for their metabolism to assess the impact of metabolites on drug safety and efficacy. There are two basic approaches used in in vitro metabolism studies to model drug metabolism in the human liver.

  • Use of cellular models, including primary hepatocytes, liver sections, and cell lines.
  • Use of drug metabolizing enzyme preparations, such as isolated cytochromes P450 (CYPs), tissue homogenates, and subcellular fractions.

The Importance of Metabolite Identification

  • Provides a basis for selecting lead compounds with desirable drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK) or safety profile.
  • Identifies important chemically reactive metabolites in drug-induced toxicity.
  • Provides supporting data for in vitro and in vivo studies of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion.
  • Helps to elucidate biotransformation pathways.

Our Methods

The analytical techniques used in metabolite identification mainly include liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LCMS), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCMS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR).

  • LCMS: The most prominent bioanalytical methods used in pharmacokinetic and metabolic studies, including reversed phase chromatography, hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC), ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC), etc.
  • GCMS: Commonly used for the analysis of trace amounts of organically extractable non-polar volatile compounds and highly volatile compounds that can be analyzed in headspace.
  • NMR: NMR-based metabolite identification is a non-invasive and non-destructive technique with high reproducibility. Metabolites can be identified or even quantified by comparing the observed chemical shifts, peak intensities and/or coupling patterns with a reference spectrum.

Our Advantages

  • Experienced team of experts
  • Expertise in metabolite identification
  • Data modeling and analysis, detailed results reporting and discussion
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • Close collaboration with clients
  • Highly reliable and reproducible data
  • Determine the most appropriate and cost-effective solution for each unique project