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Microbiotica Collaborates with University of Adelaide to Develop a Novel Microbial Therapy for Ulcerative Colitis

Microbiotica Collaborates with University of Adelaide to Develop a Novel Microbial Therapy for Ulcerative Colitis

Cambridge, UK, 18 June 2018 – Microbiotica, a leading player in microbiome-based therapeutics, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with University of Adelaide as part of its programme to develop a defined bacterial product for ulcerative colitis (UC). Financial details have not been disclosed.

Microbiotica is collaborating with Dr Sam Costello, Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide and Department of Gastroenterology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, to develop a new therapeutic to treat UC. Dr Costello led a faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) study the results of which demonstrate the ability to induce remission in UC, without significant side-effects. This data is compelling evidence for a novel therapeutic approach based on resetting gut microbiota.

Under the agreement, Microbiotica will analyse clinical samples from the Adelaide FMT study to identify the specific bacteria which successfully treated the condition. Microbiotica has developed the leading platform for culture-based precision metagenomics, enabling large-scale strain-level characterisation of microbiome profiles linked to patient phenotype.

“As yet very few placebo-controlled clinical studies have been completed which show that altering a patient’s microbiome through faecal microbiota transplantation can cause remission in ulcerative colitis. Dr Costello is a pioneer in this area and this collaboration is strategically important to our ulcerative colitis programme,” said Dr Trevor Lawley, CSO of Microbiotica.

“We are adopting a clinic-first discovery approach and taking this high-quality research to the next stage to generate a therapeutic candidate which we will progress as an orally administered defined bacterial therapy for ulcerative colitis,” he said.

Dr Costello said: “Ulcerative colitis is a disease with significant unmet therapeutic need, and while faecal microbiota transplantation is already showing promise in inducing remission, a defined bacterial product would be a big step forwards. We are pleased to be collaborating with Microbiotica on its programme.”

Microbiotica is progressing on a number of fronts – continuing to invest in and further develop its platform, to secure strategic industry partnerships and, as in this collaboration, to progress its own pipeline. Recently Microbiotica announced a $534 million strategic partnership with Genentech to discover, develop and commercialise biomarkers, targets and medicines for inflammatory bowel disease.

About Microbiotica

Microbiotica was established in 2016 to develop and commercialise ground-breaking research into the role of the human microbiome in health and disease and its application to medicine conducted in the Host-Microbiotica Interactions Laboratory (“HMIL”) at the Sanger Institute.  The Company was founded by Dr Mike Romanos, Dr Trevor Lawley and Professor Gordon Dougan, FRS. Microbiotica is based at the Wellcome Genome Campus in Cambridge, UK, with offices in the Biodata Innovation Centre and laboratories in the Sanger Institute. It has a strategic collaboration with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, in the field of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

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About Microbiotica’s platform

The Microbiotica platform comprises the world’s leading microbiome Culture Collection and linked Reference Genome Database that enable unprecedented precision of gut bacterial identification The Company is adding to this at a very rapid rate through its industrial culturing and sequencing pipeline, providing the best available representation of clinical trial samples for strain-level identification of bacteria. The complex datasets that arise from such studies are analysed using AI techniques to discern microbiome signatures linked to phenotype. The availability of the physical Culture Collection enables biological evaluation of bacteria in proprietary translational models including humanised microbiome mouse models.

About the Microbiome

Recognition of the importance of the microbiome, the body’s trillions of resident bacteria, represents a paradigm-shift in our understanding of its impact on human health and disease. This creates major opportunities in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of disease including enteric infections, autoimmune disorders, metabolic disorders, cancer and neurological disease.

About University of Adelaide/ The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The University of Adelaide is a world-class research and teaching institution, centred on discovering new knowledge, pursuing innovation and preparing the educated leaders of tomorrow. Australia’s third oldest university, the University of Adelaide is proudly ranked in the top one percent of universities in the world. Adelaide has over 100 Rhodes Scholars among its distinguished alumni and is associated with five Nobel Laureates. We attract academic staff who are global leaders in their fields, along with the best and brightest students. The University of Adelaide is one of Australia’s Group of Eight universities with access to a new fund established by IP Group to support early stage investment into research commercialisation.


Issued for and on behalf of Microbiotica by Instinctif Partners.
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Sue CharlesManaging Partner