Metabolic disease

Metabolic disease or syndrome (MetS) is a multifactorial condition combining diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. MetS has emerged as a significant challenge to public health and biomedical research. Preclinical models recapitulating this complexity can help drive innovation of novel, effective therapies. 

Metabolic disease has been a focus of advances in modern therapy developments, including smart implantable medical devices, and cell and gene therapies.

The field is developing rapidly. Regulatory guidelines are dynamic, but the need for preclinical data to support safety and efficacy is likely to remain essential.


For a complex disease like MetS, using a single approach in isolation is insufficient to model the diesease. Multiple models when used together in a complementary fashion can enable research and progress in understanding disease etiology and pathogenesis. 

As a Preclinical CRO, we specialize in evaluation:

  • Continuous Glucose Monitoring
  • HFD/STZ-induced T2D
  • Choline and L-amino acid-deficient NAFLD/NASH
  • Wound healing- acute and chronic
  • Diabetic retinopathies

The Absorption Systems Difference

Absorption Systems have decades of experience using a range of animal models to offer robust, relavant preclinical studies to support medical device development. Our multiple approaches to modelling metabolic disease states can provide confidence in the safety and efficacy of therapies prior to clinical trials. We also specialise in localised models such as diabetic retinopathy and can combine these with systemic conditions (e.g. high fat diet) to develop a holistic understanding of disease.


What preclinical models do Absoprtion Systems use for evaluating MetS?

We have a range of different animal and disease models which we use to study diabetic and metabolic disease:
  • Rodents ( T2D, DR, NAFLD/NASH, obesity)
  • Porcine (T2D)
  • Rabbit (angiogenesis diabetic retinopathy)
  • Porcine hyperglycemic clamp


What types of therapies are you able to test?

Metabolic disease therapies are increasingly moving beyond traditional pharmacology to complex biologics and implantable medical devices. Absorption Systems are here to support these therapy options, including:


What diagnostics & endpoints are available from preclinical models of metabolic disease?

Exact endpoint data depends on user specifications and requirements. However, in general we have broad capabilities for assessing primary and secondary endpoints from in vivo studies in parrallel, including:

  • Clinical Chemistry
  • Histopathology
  • Blood glucose & insulin levels
  • Hepatic lipid & collagen content
  • Blood Gas


What sort of information can you attain from a preclinical glucose monitoring study?

The example below is a small illustration of the type of data we routinely collect from glucose-monitoring studies. 

Fig 1:  Excursion study in Yucatan Mini-pig. Adjustments of a variable glucose infusion rate (GIR) based on insulin and glucose metabolism over time.

Our team is capable of tracking multiple diabetic animals at once over various time points while maintaining variable glucose infusion rates (GIR) over time. Our team also has a great deal of experience implementing strategies to overcome inter-animal variability that can be observed over time and with different test articles.

Metabolic diseases are notoriously difficult