The Ixcela Story

Ixcela was co-founded by Drs. Erika Ebbel Angle and Wayne Matson with a group of outstanding scientists (see the biographies of our amazing co-workers). All of us had developed technologies and methods for the study of a range of diseases for diagnosis, predictive diagnostic risk factors and specification of therapy (personalized medicine).

After deep analysis of the complex biochemical profiles for over 1000 compounds in several thousand subjects, it became clear to us that the microbiome (the some 6-10,000 species in the gut – second largest organ in the body) was a critical part of the biochemical web distinguishing normal from disease subjects. Understanding these webs could also allow the prediction of therapeutic response. Additionally, the biochemistry of the microbiome had direct links to the function of other organs including the brain.

This led us beyond the ideas of diagnosis and therapy to the concept of promoting biochemical wellness (“internal health”) through measurement and control of the microbiome with specific, personalized intervention based on testing.

Ixcela and the “Omic web”

The basic scientific concepts behind Ixcela are:

  1. Biochemical wellness or “internal health” is based on optimum operation of the “Omic web” which consists of the:
    • Interaction of the Genome (30,000 some genes)
    • Transcriptome and Proteome (some 100,000+ RNAs and Proteins)
    • Metabolome (some 10,000s of small signaling and process molecules)
    • Microbiome (some 6-10,000 species).
  2. That the composition of the competitive species in the Microbiome is genetically determined initially, but offers the easiest and most significant part of the Omic web for intervention.
  3. That the Omic web is “holographic” and can be well, if not completely, described by measuring a small subset of critical metabolites
Ixcela and the “Omic web”

Ixcela Technology

Ixcela’s innovative technology was developed to allow for the measurement of this critical subset of metabolites from just a small drop of blood on a piece of special filter paper. The process:

  1. Using an Ixcela Internal Fitness™ Test kit, a small drop of blood from a finger stick is placed on a filter paper pad.
  2. The kit is closed and the blood is rapidly dried to stabilize critical compounds.
  3. On receipt the exact amount of blood is determined using proprietary Ixcela technology.
  4. The 12 key metabolites of interest are then extracted from the blood on the filter paper.
  5. The metabolites are then analyzed using a liquid chromatography (LC) technique employing Electrochemical Array Detection (ECA) originally invented by Dr. Matson, which he modified for the Ixcela test for greater sensitivity (low picogram range).
  6. A report is generated from the analysis of the 12 key metabolites and evaluated against what is considered to be a normal, healthy range of levels
Ixcela Technology

Research Collaborations


Professional athletes are routinely subjected to strenuous exercise and endurance training, which induces a wide range of muscular and systemic reactions in the body. Prolonged and intense physical activity significantly alters metabolism, immune response, gut permeability, and level of oxidative stress. The gut microbiota has increasingly been shown to be vital for a host of functionalities such as nutrition, digestion, development and regulation of the immune system, as well as its effect on the central nervous system.

Given the gut’s role in functions altered by exercise, there has been growing interest in exploring the ability of the gut to monitor and modulate effects of strenuous activity to both prevent injuries and improve performance.

In this study, we utilized electrochemical detection coupled with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to detect blood-based biomarkers in sailors participating in America’s Cup 2017 as part of ORACLE TEAM USA. The objective of this study was to employ Ixcela’s metabolite detection technology followed by dietary changes and probiotic supplementation to monitor and modulate levels of blood-based biomarkers correlated with gut health, in an effort to improve internal fitness and performance of ORACLE TEAM USA sailors.

Read White Paper


Ixcela has teamed up with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University to explore the link between the gut microbiome and the cardiovascular system.

Mental stress–induced myocardial ischemia (MSIMI) is common in patients with clinically stable coronary heart disease (CHD) and is associated with poor outcomes. Depression is a risk factor of MSIMI. The REMIT trial investigates whether selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) treatment can improve MSIMI.

The REMIT study examines the effect of SSRI on MSIMI in vulnerable patients with CHD and probes some potential underlying mechanisms.

Sun et al. 'Metal stress-induced left ventricular dysfunction and adverse outcome in ischemic heart disease patients', European Journal of Preventive Cardiology 2017.

Ixcela Shield Study

Based on the progress made by our scientists in isolating our proprietary compound from a natural food source, Ixcela commissioned a study with Charles River Laboratories in February 2015 to investigate the outcome of dietary supplementation in mice. The study concluded there were no adverse effects to the dosing and the treatment was well tolerated in this cohort.

Extensive analysis was then further conducted by our scientists using the mouse plasma and brain samples from the Charles River Laboratory study. The samples were analyzed using the LC-ECA technology developed by our Chief Scientific Officer, Wayne R. Matson. The result of this testing was proof of concept showing that dietary supplementation of our compound could be increased in both plasma levels and brain levels.

The dose range D1-D5 corresponds to 1X, 4X, 16X, 32X, 256X.

This finding is of great importance because of the increasing scientific evidence highlighting our compound as a key regulator of both gut health and brain health.