This British Biotech is Uncovering the Power of the Microbiome to Fight Disease

This week we’re visiting Cambridge-based spin out, Microbiotica, which is working to bring the exciting science of the microbiome into the clinic.

Mission: Microbiotica was launched out of Cambridge’s prestigious  Sanger Institute to focus on how our microbiomes could be used to combat disease. We know that the microbiome, the trillions of microbes in our bodies, is incredibly important to our health and its disruption can cause diseases like IBS, cancer and Parkinson’s. Next, we need to find ways to identify the bacteria present in a patient’s microbiome and the role they play.

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Microbiotica’s platform cultures, characterizes and phenotypes the bacteria in a patient’s gut, helping to identify a link between the bacteria present and their function. The spin-out is also home to the leading microbiota culture collection and reference genome database.  These tools have allowed Microbiotica to start programs for IBD, immune-oncology and Clostridium difficile infections.

Comment: The microbiome is a hot topic in the Labiotech office, as well as throughout the biotech industry. While some current approaches may not have worked out quite as we had hoped, the microbiome offers somewhat of a fresh start. Buoyed by research indicating that it has a profound effect on our health and wellbeing, the next step is to begin using it to our advantage. Microbiotica’s technology, as well as the exciting work of others in the field like Eligo Bioscience and Enterome, could be just what we need to boost our understanding and get into a position to exploit the power of the microbiome.


Image – Pajor Pawel / shutterstock.com

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