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Cameron Chalmers
Consultancy Manager

EdinOmics provides metabolomics-aided strain improvement for GlaxoSmithKline

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) wanted to better understand the production of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in their strains, in order to improve strain development strategies, to increase production of their high-value chemical.

EdinOmics proposed a metabolic phenotyping strategy to visualise the accumulation of the API, its biosynthetic precursors, intermediates, and undesired side products.

The unique capability of the ion mobility mass spectrometer in EdinOmics was chosen for this analysis, to obtain high confidence in metabolite identifications and relative quantification of the accumulating metabolites.

The metabolomics analysis revealed a remarkable increase in the production of the API resulting from strain improvement strategies employed. An in-depth analysis of the best producing strain identified bottlenecks in the synthesis of the API and accumulation of side products, directly impacting the API titre.

Metabolic enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of the API and undesirable side products were identified as potential candidate pathways for further strain engineering.

GSK believes that industrial biotechnology has significant potential for the sustainable, scalable and safe production of high-value chemicals, biomolecules and materials. EdinOmics provided intuitive metabolomics tools and expertise to analyse and assist in the development of key API intermediates, helping us further project goals and meet developmental timelines. We look forward to working with them in future projects.

Dr Ben Huckle, External Collaboration Lead, GSK

We strongly believe in providing a ‘cradle to grave’ service, which ensures that our customers get the most out of their datasets. We support and encourage working with us from early stages of conception of your ‘omics experiment. We are here to provide our expertise towards better understanding your favourite biology.

Dr Tessa Moses, Manager, EdinOmics




  • Agri-tech, agri-food and plant biology
  • Food and drink
  • Healthcare and disease
  • Life sciences and industrial biotechnology
  • Pharmaceuticals and medical biotechnology

Services and expertise

The EdinOmics core facility provides global metabolome and proteome analyses. We apply analytical mass spectrometry-based workflows on biological samples to probe cellular components (proteins or metabolites) to help researchers better understand the underlying mechanisms that lead to biologically observed phenotypes.

We offer unique end-to-end expertise to help you design the right experiment with sample processing, complementary preliminary tests and data analysis to obtain optimal output. We also offer a rapid metabolomics method that reduces analytical time and cost per sample.

Equipment available

EdinOmics is home to an ion mobility mass spectrometer, which provides unique capabilities for separating small molecules and proteins based on their size and shape. The facility’s gas chromatography system is coupled to an automation platform for sample preparation and data acquisition, which assures greater consistency across the samples in a dataset.

We uniquely offer a simultaneous metabolite, protein, lipid extraction workflow to assess multiple molecular classes from one sample with equal efficiency and reproducibility, allowing for deeper insights into molecular mechanisms being investigated.

More details

Dr Tessa Moses, Facility Manager


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