Tag Interview

Obesity risk quantification: Lipidomic BMI better than traditional BMI

Obesity is a prime threat to human health. In daily healthcare practice, the go-to indicator of overweight and obesity is the body mass index (BMI). Now, an international team of scientists led by Lipotype introduces a revolutionary A.I. BMI approach towards personalized and precision medicine.


A joint effort of academy and industry
When academy meets industry significant jumps towards the future are possible. Researchers from TU Dresden and Lipotype GmbH, a spin-off of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, with the international participation of scientists from Lund University (Sweden) and National Institute for Health and Welfare (Finland) teamed up to critically investigate the BMI of more than 1000 patients. The international research team applied advanced artificial intelligence tools to develop an algorithm which makes use of the human blood plasma lipid composition, the plasma lipidome.


The lipidomic BMI
The plasma lipidome contains hundreds of distinct lipids. “Together, they are valuable indicators to explore the state of metabolism health of an individual – like a health fingerprint”, explains Mathias Gerl from Lipotype. This lipidomic data was used for training the algorithm to predict the BMI of each patient.

In comparison to the ‘household measures’-based BMI, the lipidomic data provided the new algorithm with the power to propose a new ‘molecular lipidomic BMI’. The lipidomic BMI calculation revealed that the molecular BMI was in a number of cases significantly higher than the traditional BMI. In approximately 1 out of 7 patients, the lipidomic BMI improved the classic ‘morphometric BMI’, and provided more information about obesity compared to the traditional BMI measurement, e.g. about the amount of visceral fat, a harmful kind of fat deposit.


The future of BMI
“Long-time consequences can occur when a patient in need for a weight reducing therapy to combat the risk for obesity-associated disease is sent home without remedy”, states Olle Melander from Lund University. “These patients may suddenly suffer from a heart attack at age 40 leaving their doctors puzzled”, comments Carlo Vittorio Cannistraci from the Biotechnology Center (BIOTEC) at the TU Dresden and adds: “We should overcome the obsolete logic that a single marker can help to assess risk in complex systems such as humans. Computational biomedicine adopts artificial intelligence to design multidimensional markers composed of many variables that increase precision of diagnosis. Hence, we hope that the traditional BMI will be replaced with a lipidomic marker to outpace the misclassification of 14% of patients.”


Resources

1 – Publication: Machine learning of human plasma lipidomes for obesity estimation in a large population cohort
2 – Press Release: Obesity risk quantification, a jump towards the future
3 – Pressemitteilung: Adipositas-Risikobestimmung, ein Sprung in die Zukunft
4 – TV news: Blutanalyse soll bei Erkennung von Adipositas helfen (only available until October 28)


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Prof. Anne-Claude Gavin accepts 1st prize of LEA

The laureate of the world’s first Lipidomics Excellence Award, Prof. Dr. Anne-Claude Gavin from the University of Geneva , uses the analysis technology of Dresden based Lipotype GmbH for the next breakthrough in her lipid transfer research. The biochemist draws the world’s first molecular “map of lipid highways”, she is tracing the ways of lipid transfer between the membranes of body cells.


A map of lipid highways
“Latest research shows that the lipid metabolism plays a major role in the development of diabetes, cancer or Alzheimer’s. Once we have a better understanding of the ways certain lipids cause which effect, we may pave the way for new potential treatment approaches”, the laureate explains her research goal. “Lipidomics helps us answering questions we would not even dare to ask without it. It opens doors that may hold the answer to our civilization diseases.”


Lipidomics in diabetes research
Life science researchers of various disciplines discover Lipotype’s Shotgun Lipidomics Analysis for their projects. So does the diabetes research: “Lipidomics is step by step revealing processes and connections that stay hidden with traditional analysis methods”, says Prof. Dr. Michele Solimena, Professor of Molecular Diabetology, Medical School, TU Dresden, Germany and Director of the Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden, a German Center for Diabetes Research. „In diabetes research we make good progress thanks to lipidomics, e.g. it is now possible to define molecular lipid signatures that tell us about the development of non-diabetic to diabetes type 2 and progression towards diabetes complications.”


Deeper insights into the lipid cosmos
The unique Lipidomics Excellence Award rewards innovation and the drive for novelty in researchers who strike out in a new direction using lipidomics. The winner Prof. Dr. Anne-Claude Gavin’s project idea stood out in a strong competition with numerous international scientists and research teams. Ultimately, a top-class independent jury of renowned lipidomics experts awarded the Geneva-based scientist with the first prize equalizing lipid analyses worth 50,000 EUR.

“We want to shine a light on the fact that lipid analyses really make the difference between research and groundbreaking research: by providing new data one gains an even deeper insight into the lipid cosmos. It is high time to seize the potentials. Let us see what there is still to discover“, says Prof. Dr. Kai Simons, Professor and Director Emeritus at Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics Dresden and founder and CEO of Lipotype.


About LEA
LEA, the Lipidomics Excellence Award, promotes researchers who are eager to contribute to the progress of life sciences with generous research prizes. Three individuals with ongoing research are awarded to support their projects. Applications were open to all researchers from academia and industry.

The winner of the first prize received 55,000 EUR worth of analysis services and present their research at the EMBO Workshop “Lipid function in health and disease” (27.-30.09.2019). A press conference was hold to
present the project and formally handover the LEA 2019 trophy.

LEA is supported by LIPID MAPS, SwissLipids and Lipotype, and the media Journal of Lipid Research, LABO and transkript.


Resources

1 – Materials: Additional press material including photos
2 – Website: The winners of LEA 2019
3 – Press Release: Summary of the Lipidomics Excellence Award press talk
4 – Pressemitteilung: Zusammenfassung der “Lipidomics Excellence Award”-Pressekonferenz


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Lipidomics: A Rising Star in Omics Research

Technology Networks published a new introductory article on lipidomics last week. They spoke to Dr. Christian Klose about applications in the field of lipid research and to Henri Deda about LEA, the new Lipidomics Excellence Award.


The article in short
The article provides a brief introduction to the research field of lipids: lipidomics. Summarizing recent developments and challenges of the past, granting an overview on today’s lipidomics technology and discussing the broad field of lipidomics applications in detail, the article is a short and entertaining read. Dr Christian Klose, Head of Research and Development at Lipotype, comments on various aspects providing examples for current research and product developments in various industries and academia. To complete the picture of current developments in lipidomics, the motivation to found and organize the Lipidomics Excellence Award finishes off the article.


Lipidomics Excellence Award
LEA, the Lipidomics Excellence Award, has been created to promote, support and strengthen researchers who are eager to contribute to the progress of life sciences through lipidomics. Up to three individuals with ongoing research are awarded with comprehensive research prizes to support their projects. Applications are open to all researchers who are eager to strengthen life sciences through lipidomics. Call for applications is open till March 30, 2019.

LEA is supported by LIPID MAPS, SwissLipids and Lipotype; the media LABO, the Journal of Lipid Research and transkript aligned themselves with LEA too.


Resources

Technology Networks Article: Lipidomics – A Rising Star in “OMICS” Research
Press Release: Lipotype Launches first global Lipidomics Excellence Award


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Metabolomics meets systems biology

Read the Technology Feature by SCIENCE about “Big data, big picture: Metabolomics meets systems biology” in which companies and scientists explain how they use metabolomics to understand system biology. Lipotype’s CEO, Kai Simons, explains why lipidomics is an important part of metabolomics and that lipids can be quantified which tells about the state of a cell or tissue:

Click here to read the full article

 

Genetic Testing and Analysis

source: www.sciencemag.org

Lipotype announces introduction of new service packages and the launch of a webshop

Interview with Professor Kai Simons, CEO and founder of Lipotype regarding the introduction of new service packages and the launch of a webshop in early 2016

 

Q: Professor Simons, why lipidomics at all?

Kai Simons: One class of biomolecules that, for long, remained in the shadow of on-going omics upheaval in biology, were the lipids. The scientific community focused on DNA, RNAs and proteins since these studies promised a shortcut to mechanistic understanding of biological function and homeostasis. Within this context, why care about lipids. They were largely seen as an uninteresting heterogeneous set of molecules having few specific functions.

But this is now changing. Lipids not only form the fluid bilayer of our membranes but they interact with proteins and modulate membrane functions. Membrane lipids behave as collectives, form dynamic platforms (rafts) in cell membranes and are major players in metabolism. Therefore, lipids have to be included in our tool kit. Lipid species diversity will only be understood by including lipidomics technologies in the on-going omics (r)evolution. Until now the lipids were mostly excluded. Lipotype wants to change that!

Q: What is the vision of Lipotype?

Kai Simons: We envision Shotgun Lipidomics as a routine tool in academic research, for the development of functional foods and for clinical diagnostics. Lipidomics represents a quantitative phenotyping tool with incisive multi-parametric resolution. Personalized healthcare will be revolutionized by this new technology. Simply said, our vision and slogan is: Lipidomics for a better life!

Q: And what new does your company Lipotype offer?

Kai Simons: We want to enable every researcher to try out lipidomics. Thus, with several others, we introduced a very price-competitive package in our service portfolio of lipid analysis. With the minimum amount of 900 Euro a customer can get a basic analysis of 6 biological samples, what gives only 150 Euro per sample!

Q: What is unique about Lipotype lipid analysis services?

Kai Simons: Lipotype lipid analyses are high-throughput, with broad coverage of lipids and absolute quantitation of each lipid species. Recently, we published a joint paper with Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences, where we showed that the results generated with Lipotype technology are highly reproducible. We performed a comparison and showed that results obtained completely independently at different sites by different researchers have an average coefficient of variation of less than 15%.

The high quality standards of Lipotype are based on years of research experience from our work at Max-Planck on the role of lipids in cellular processes and on the development of lipidomics technology. We believe that the advantages of our technology are an essential prerequisite for the identification of statistical significant and clinical relevant lipid signatures, which can now be used by our customers.

Q: Lipotype will also introduce a webshop to sell its scientific services. That’s quite new for analytical services. Why did you decide to do that?

Kai Simons: Yes, we believe that introducing the webshop is totally novel in our market segment. The advantages will be obvious to our customers. The different service packages are grasped in a glance, prices are known from the beginning and in overall this provides a convenient way to purchase our services.


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