Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 1075–1088 | Cite as

Metabonomics Techniques and Applications to Pharmaceutical Research & Development

  • John C. Lindon
  • Elaine Holmes
  • Jeremy K. Nicholson
Expert Review


In this review, the background to the approach known as metabonomics is provided, giving a brief historical perspective and summarizing the analytical and statistical techniques used. Some of the major applications of metabonomics relevant to pharmaceutical Research & Development are then reviewed including the study of various influences on metabolism, such as diet, lifestyle, and other environmental factors. The applications of metabonomics in drug safety studies are explained with special reference to the aims and achievements of the Consortium for Metabonomic Toxicology. Next, the role that metabonomics might have in disease diagnosis and therapy monitoring is provided with some examples, and the concept of pharmacometabonomics as a way of predicting an individual's response to treatment is highlighted. Some discussion is given on the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities of, and threats to metabonomics.

Key Words

biomarkers diagnostics drug safety metabonomics spectroscopy 



capillary electrophoresis


classification of unknowns by density superposition


Consortium for Metabonomic Toxicology


correlation spectroscopy


Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill (an NMR pulse sequence)


cerebrospinal fluid


discriminant analysis


Fourier transform


gas chromatography


high-performance liquid chromatography




liquid chromatography


laboratory information management system


magic angle spinning


mass spectrometry


nuclear magnetic resonance


orthogonal signal correction


principal component analysis


partial least squares


quality control


statistical heterospectroscopy


Standard Metabolic Reporting Structures


statistical total correlation spectroscopy


total correlation spectroscopy


time of flight


trimethylsilylpropionic acid sodium salt


ultra-performance liquid chromatography


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Lindon
    • 1
  • Elaine Holmes
    • 1
  • Jeremy K. Nicholson
    • 1
  1. 1.Biological Chemistry, Biomedical Sciences DivisionImperial College LondonLondonUK

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