The gut microbiota, bacteria living in our intestines, is an important metabolic organ and disturbance in its composition is associated with several diseases. Studies of the microbiome, the genomes of the microbiota, have generated knowledge providing possibilities for development of novel therapeutic products targeting the microbiota. A company at the forefront of this field is MetaboGen.
MetaboGen uses human faecal samples, from which the total DNA is extracted and analysed with DNA sequencing technology. From this genomic material, clinically relevant patterns and biomarkers are identified, in order to understand how the intestine and the gut microbiota interact.
”We are searching for gut metagenome based biomarkers that could be used for diagnosis, prognosis and product development for therapeutic interventions. Novel technologies and recent advances in the field have made the microbiome a new approach to address medical problems,” says Sara Malcus, CEO of MetaboGen.
Two Main Development Projects
Products based on the gut microbiome may potentially be used in combination with traditional pharmaceuticals, or as stand-alone therapies. Several companies are currently running programmes in this field. Therapies addressing Clostridium difficile infections, metabolic disease and cancer, are areas that have gained a lot of interest from researchers and investors alike, so far.
The industry has hitherto advanced from pure investigations to product development with traditional development goals. MetaboGen has two main development projects in its portfolio, one that is conducted together with a pharmaceutical company and one run in-house, developing a next-generation probiotic product for a metabolic indication.
”MetaboGen is currently in a very exciting phase of expansion. Our recently initiated collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry strengthens our position in the microbiome field,” Sara Malcus concludes.