RondinX has developed a breakthrough platform that profiles and predicts gut microbial growth dynamics by using genetic material of human gut samples. The technology may be key to understanding the interaction between changes in the gut microbiome and health, specifically the development of conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The novel approach, established at the Weizmann Institute of Science and licensed to RondinX from its commercial arm YEDA Research and Development Company, adds a new dimension to the microbiome drug development process, and has important implications for IBD, a group of diseases associated with changes in bacterial growth rates.
The company is currently working with Professors Eran Segal and Eran Elinav at Weizmann, both leading experts in the microbiome field.
“RondinX’s approach takes into account that the microbiome represents a highly dynamic ecosystem and can differ greatly from one day to the next, from individual to individual and even in patients suffering from the same disease,” Guy Harmelin, co-founder and CEO of RondinX, said in a press release. “By analyzing the patient’s microbiome of tomorrow, today, we are taking the next steps in transforming microbiome knowledge to cures.”
“We believe that the unique insight into the microbiome dynamics provided by our platform will give RondinX and our future partners a leading edge in microbiome drug discovery and development,” he added.
A person’s microbiota consists of the 10 trillion to 100 trillion microbial cells, primarily bacteria in the gut. The human microbiome consists of the genes present in these cells. Microbiome projects worldwide have been launched with the goal of understanding the roles that these bacteria play and their impact on human health.
The current generation of microbiome drug discovery platforms does not provide the full scope of the microbiota and cannot be used to observe its highly dynamic nature, the differential activity of its microbial members, or its influence on disease.
To overcome these limitations, RondinX’s platform uses microbiome analytics including growth dynamics, and enables a better understanding of the relationship between the human microbiome and certain disease states. The platform has been demonstrated to be hypersensitive to various types of microbiome imbalances and can prioritize and streamline potential therapeutic strategies. Previously published research has demonstrated that IBD is associated with changes in bacterial growth rates.
“While medical applications are starting to emerge, the industry has yet to acknowledge the true complexity of the microbiome ecosystem,” said Rafi Gidron, chairman of the RondinX board. “To guide drug discovery and development programs consistently towards the disease-causing or disease-modulating microbes, much better tools are needed than what the current generation of microbiome companies are able to provide.
“We believe that adding growth dynamics will extend the industry’s understanding and help to distinguish active ‘driver’ and ‘modulator’ species from bystander commensal ones,” he added.