Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) announced today that Dr. Lawrence J. Lesko has received an Agilent Thought Leader Award in support of his research into preclinical toxicological assessments of new medicines.

An internationally recognized pharmacologist, Dr. Lesko directs the Center for Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology at the University of Florida's College of Pharmacy in Orlando.

"We are pleased to support Dr. Lesko's research, which is addressing important needs in the rapidly evolving field of systems toxicology," said Monty Benefiel, Agilent vice president and general manager of the Mass Spectrometry Division. Benefiel is the executive sponsor of this award.

Dr. Lesko and his team are using Agilent accurate mass Q-TOF LC/MS to collect and analyze metabolomics data. With the help of Agilent's Mass Profiler Professional and Pathway Architect software, they hope to discover biomarker panels that could enable the development of future companion diagnostics.

"I am very pleased and appreciative of Agilent's Thought Leader Award," said Dr. Lesko. "It enables our team to identify metabolomic safety biomarkers of drug-induced renal toxicity and the mechanisms by which these toxicities occur. This research will lead us to identifying at-risk patients and exploring the use of concomitantly administered medicines as protectants against drug-induced renal damage. It could have a major effect on improving drug development and clinical care."

Kidney toxicity is a leading cause of formerly approved drugs being withdrawn from the market. Although a few clinical biomarkers of kidney injury are available, they lack adequate sensitivity or specificity. Dr. Lesko and his team want to identify novel biomarkers that could not only help drug makers better assess new drug candidates but might eventually enable doctors to better manage treatments.

The Agilent Thought Leader Award promotes fundamental scientific advances by contributing financial support, products and expertise to the research of influential thought leaders in the life sciences, diagnostics and chemical analysis. Information about previous award recipients is available at Agilent's Thought Leader website.