AMRA Medical and Pfizer will continue their collaboration to identify body composition biomarkers and phenotypes utilizing the UK Biobank resource.
LINKÖPING, Sweden April 30, 2020 – AMRA Medical announced they have expanded their collaboration with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) to further investigate body fat distribution and muscle composition within a wide range of diseases, as well as overall metabolic health.
In 2015, AMRA and Pfizer launched a pilot collaboration to perform body composition profiling from magnetic resonance images (MRI) in individuals who were part of the UK Biobank registry to better understand the relationship between body composition and risk for obesity-related diseases. AMRA has since analyzed over 10,000 datasets for body composition, resulting in 7 peer-reviewed journal articles and 24 peer-reviewed conference abstracts. The data from this research is now publicly available through the UK Biobank resource.
The renewed partnership involves body composition analysis of 100,000 individuals who were part of the UK Biobank – making it, when completed, potentially the largest detailed study of its kind in the world. The extensive dataset will include highly standardized imaging biomarkers to establish individualized norms for certain metabolic conditions – such as NAFLD/NASH, obesity, and diabetes – that can serve as a reference in future clinical trials and clinical practice. Further, the project will provide a unique resource linking the high-quality imaging outputs with genetic and phenotypic data from the UK Biobank – including disease status, outcome data, and biomarker data – to enable new discoveries and insights.
“With the addition of the imaging data to the already phenotypically and genotypically rich UK Biobank dataset, we believe there is potential to advance scientific and clinical understanding of a number of highly complex diseases related to metabolic dysregulation, the prevalence of which is increasing around the world,” said Morris Birnbaum, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer for the Internal Medicine Research Unit at Pfizer. “We hope the findings from this collaboration will help identify and validate new therapeutic targets that can advance breakthroughs that change patients’ lives.”
Sir Rory Collins, UK Biobank Principal Investigator and BHF Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Oxford University said: “UK Biobank’s goal is to provide a resource to support imaginative health research around the world. It is fantastic that the resource is sparking new and successful partnerships like this one that are driving research forward in ways that could not have been imagined when UK Biobank was started. We look forward to seeing how these data contribute to the welfare of patients in the years to come.”
AMRA is continuously working towards developing new biomarkers and continues to strive towards building a real-world database representative of the global population. The collaboration with Pfizer supports this endeavor and will potentially enable the development of high-utility imaging biomarkers and/or the identification of disease phenotypes.