November 2, 2021

The Canadian Prairie Metabolic Network (CPMN) is a recently funded Genomics Applied Partnership Program project supported by Genome Canada and Genome Prairie to explore an “OMICS First” approach for diagnosing metabolic diseases in the Prairies.

The CPMN will address the specialized clinical needs of patients highly suspected of having inborn errors of metabolism (IEM). The purpose of this project is to evaluate whether starting with an “OMICS First” DNA test (see below) compared to traditional metabolic and DNA testing can facilitate a more rapid diagnosis of an IEM and faster access to appropriate care. The CPMN will be a collaborative approach between the clinical metabolic centres in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta and Discovery DNA, Inc., an accredited genomics laboratory in Calgary.

Establishing the infrastructure and protocols of the CPMN involves the 4 Prairie metabolic centres in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, and Calgary. In the first stage of the project, the focus will be on Manitoba patients.

Patient Referral & Care Process:
1. As of Nov 1, 2021, health care providers are invited to refer their patients directly to the CPMN and within 1-2 weeks the CPMN triage team will review the request to determine whether the patient is eligible for exome, genome or mitochondrial DNA testing (i.e., the “OMICS First” approach). Eligibility means that based on clinical evidence, the triage team believes there is a high likelihood of an underlying IEM.
2. Once eligibility is confirmed, DNA testing will be performed from a cheek swab with a target turn-around time of 2 weeks and results will be reported to the referring care provider. Genomic analysis will be performed by Discovery DNA (
3. CPMN personnel will assist the patient and referring health care provider navigate the process of referral, sample collection, and follow-up.All patients in parallel with “OMICS First” will also be assessed by or referred to the Metabolic team of the Program of Genetics and Metabolism, Shared Health, using the established traditional protocols.

“OMICS First” Validation Process: In the second stage of the project, referring health care professionals from SK and AB will be encouraged to expand referrals to the CPMN, but may continue to order testing through their usual channels. This increased enrollment will help the CPMN continue to evaluate the “OMICS First” approach to determine if this analysis can provide a faster diagnosis for metabolic disease, accelerate access to new treatments, improve patient and provider satisfaction, and be cost effective.

Combined with existing clinical and laboratory expertise, utilizing the “OMICS First” approach will ensure metabolic patients throughout the Prairies will have timely access to new diagnostics, new therapies, and clinical and specialty supports. We look forward to working with you and discussing how best to roll out this exciting new process across the Prairies.

For further information on the program please visit
For details how to now refer patients please contact:
The CPMN Team at or 204-789-3877

*A Genome Application Partnership Program (GAPP) administered by the University of
Manitoba and jointly funded by Genome Canada/Genome Prairie, Shared Health, and
Discovery DNA.

CPMN Academic Lead:

Dr. Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg
Metabolic Geneticist, Shared Health Manitoba
Distinguished Professor, Department of Pediatrics & Child Health and Department of Biochemistry & Medical Genetics, University of Manitoba
Clinician Scientist, CHRIM

New precision health ‘All for One’ network for the Prairies: UM Today News

Funding Announcements:

Canadian Prairie Metabolic Network: Genome Canada

Canadian Prairie Metabolic Network: Genome Prairies