Microbiotica, a leading player in microbiome-based therapeutics spun out of the Wellcome Sanger Institute, announced that it has entered into a multi-year strategic collaboration with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, to discover, develop and commercialise biomarkers, targets and medicines for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Under the terms of the agreement, Microbiotica will utilise its precision metagenomics microbiome platform to analyse patient samples from clinical trials of Genentech’s investigational IBD medicines, in order to identify microbiome biomarker signatures of drug response, novel IBD drug targets and live bacterial therapeutic products.
Microbiotica was launched in December 2016 with the aim of creating a global leader to exploit the leading microbiome science built at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. The company retains a close association with the Sanger Institute and its founders and is based at the Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridge UK.
The Microbiotica platform comprises the world’s leading microbiome Culture Collection and linked Reference Genome Database that enable unprecedented precision of gut bacterial identification at clinical trial scale. 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.