The company’s potential microbe treatments aim to restore the proper diversity of microbes in the gut, with the goal of reducing inflammation in people with IBD.
“We believe our drug candidate consortia designed to target the underlying causes of inflammation associated with Inflammatory Bowel Disease will provide a new form of therapy for this chronic and devastating condition,” Elran Haber, PhD, Biomica’s CEO, said in a press release.
IBD — which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease — are chronic inflammatory diseases of the digestive tract. Primarily, anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids are used to reduce swelling. However, these medications do not address the underlying causes of IBD.
Given that the connection between the microbiome and IBD is well known, Biomica’s approach is to target the microbial-related processes that cause the intestines to become inflamed.
Following the collection of hundreds of stool samples from IBD patients, the company did a large-scale, comparative analysis of the microbes present using their PRISM (Predictive, high Resolution, Integrative Selection of Microbes) platform.
PRISM analyzes large amounts of data to understand how microbes in the human gut function, and to identify specific bacterial strains associated with inflammation and those connected to disease remission. This platform, the company says, allowed researchers to find a combination of microbes that may trigger multiple pathways and ease intestinal inflammation.
Two combinations of bacterial strains, called BMC321 and BMC322, were chosen to be tested for tolerability and efficacy in multiple IBD animal models.
“It has been well established that the intestinal microbiome and the diminished microbial diversity are implicated in the pathogenesis of IBD. I believe that Biomica’s novel approach, targeting microbial functions that impact a combination of pathways to reduce inflammation, have the potential to make a true impact on the treatment of IBD patients,” R. Balfour Sartor, MD, a Biomica Scientific Board member and director of the multidisciplinary IBD Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said in the release.
“Our advancement to pre-clinical trials is based on the outcomes of unique computational insights provided by Biomica’s PRISM platform,” Haber added. “We look forward to sharing initial results in 2020.”
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