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Pharmacogenomics. 2005 Oct;6(7):691-9.

The Consortium for Metabonomic Toxicology (COMET): aims, activities and achievements.

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Imperial College London, Biological Chemistry, Biomedical Sciences Division, Sir Alexander Fleming Building, South Kensington, London SW7 2AZ, UK. j.lindon


The utility of metabonomics in the evaluation of xenobiotic toxicity has been comprehensively assessed by the Consortium for Metabonomic Toxicology (COMET), formed between five major pharmaceutical companies and Imperial College London, UK. The main objectives were to assess methodologies, to generate a metabonomic database using (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy of rodent urine and blood serum and to build a predictive expert system for target organ toxicity. The analytic and biologic variation that might arise through the use of metabonomics was evaluated and a high degree of robustness demonstrated. With the completion of 147 studies, the chief deliverables of a curated database of rodent biofluid NMR spectra and computer-based expert systems for the prediction of kidney or liver toxicity in rat and mouse based on the spectral data have been generated, and delivered to the sponsoring companies. The project, with its relatively modest resources, has met and exceeded all of its targets and was judged a resounding success by the sponsoring companies who are, in many cases, already enhancing and making use of the data in their in-house studies.

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