Metabolomx Corp. is developing a diagnostic that mimics the olfactory system to detect cancer at all stages based on the metabolomic profile of a patient's tumor. The company is initially targeting lung and colon cancer.

Tumors produce small molecule metabolic by-products that can diffuse out of the cell and into the blood stream. These volatile organic compounds travel to the lungs and are expelled into the air, where they can be detected by the olfactory system.