Leading-edge therapies that leverage the microbiome promise to address a range of serious diseases that currently don’t have adequate solutions. Microbiome-based therapies are de-risked thanks to the established proof-of-concept with fecal matter transplant (FMT).
Imbalances in the human microbiome – resulting from intense use of antibiotics, genetic predisposition, environmental factors and combinations thereof – can switch the beneficial effect of the intestinal microbiome into a detrimental and even life-threatening combination called dysbiosis. Though dysbiosis is not clearly defined, it has been associated with a multitude of conditions, setting the stage for a functional understanding of the role of the microbiome in these diseases. Dysbiosis has been linked to infections, local and systemic inflammation, metabolism, and epigenetics. Indications related to dysbiosis include some of the main challenges of modern medicine: chronic intestinal inflammations, NASH, cancer, type-2 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, among others; all of which are clinical indications with few therapeutic options, chronic symptoms, and increasing incidence throughout the world.
PharmaBiome’s microbiome therapies build on the clinical proof of concept delivered by Faecal Microbiome Transfer (FMT) but go beyond it regarding the design, development and delivery. Our microbiome therapies are designed to restore functionality. Starting with the biology of a specific disease, a tailored consortium of bacteria is developed to provide the missing functions. To guarantee efficacy and robustness, consortia are rationally assembled and co-cultured in bioreactors. We combine deep insights into the disease biology, technology know how to develop and culture bacterial consortia and the clinical understanding. This allows us to rapidly develop targeted consortia for the diseases with high unmet medical need.
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease characterized by diffuse inflammation of the mucosa of the colon and rectum. In Western countries, approximately 1 in 300 people are suffering from ulcerative colitis. 70-80% of patients with moderate to severe disease continue to have symptoms, even after a year on the most advanced biologic therapies available. There remains a high unmet medical need that is not addressed by current therapies, which focus on the host. This is where a therapy that addresses the microbiome holds much promise. We have observed very encouraging results in pre-clinical models and are rapidly advancing towards the clinic.
Building on the insights from developing a specific consortium targeting ulcerative colitis, we are working to address other diseases that involve the microbiome and the host. Cancer immuno therapy and colorectal cancer have been shown to have a direct link to the microbiome. Emerging research also points to an important role of the microbiome in graft-versus-host disease in transplant. We build on such recent scientific discoveries and are developing specific consortia that target these serious diseases.