Mayo and Seres Collaborated for Microbiome Based Research
The leading microbiome therapeutics company, Seres Therapeutics (Cambridge) collaborated with Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine to identify novel therapeutics candidate for the orphan liver disease like primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
For many decades Dr. Nicholas F. LaRusso, M.D. of Mayo Clinic has been working on the role of microbiomes in inflammatory diseases like PSC and a group of incurable genetic diseases of liver (cholangiociliopathies). Dr. LaRusso will collaborate with the Seres scientists for the clinical and preclinical studies for the identification of novel microbiome therapeutics candidate for the treatment of PSC.
The “sponsored research agreement” between the two companies will also help to develop the complete understanding of the role of microbiome in liver diseases like NASH.
PSC is a chronic disease related to bile ducts which causes its inflammation leading to injury and dysfunction of bile duct tissue. PSC can cause serious liver damage. NASH is a chronic liver disorder which accumulates fat in the liver causing inflammation and damage. It can also lead to cirrhosis. Currently there are no approved therapies for PSC and NASH.
Seres Therapeutics has proprietary platform to “rationally design tailored therapies to establish a healthy microbiome”. It has also strategically collaborated previously to explore the true potential of microbiomes as a therapeutic candidate for several medical conditions.
Figure 1. Breaking Unhealthy Microbial Networks By Establishing Healthy Microbiome Communities (Photo credit: Seres Therapeutics).
Last month, Seres collaborated with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) for the development of microbiome therapeutics for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and immuno-oncology treatment.
The acquaintance between Seres and Mayo is two years old when in 2014, Mayo Clinic participated as one of the investors in the Seres’ series B round of financing. Since then Mayo Clinic was planning to collaborate with Seres for the development of microbiome based therapeutics for an ailment which could be broadly benefited by the collaboration.
In 2015, Seres fetched about $134 million in IPO which helped it to develop its lead candidate SER-109, an oral microbiome therapeutic for prevention of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) and also for the further strengthening of its pipeline.
Recently, Vedanta Biosciences engaged in the development of therapies for the modulation of human microbiome raised a fund of $50 million for the advancement of microbiome therapeutics.
The launch the National Microbiome Initiative (NMI) by White House for better understanding of microbiomes and the offer of $121 million for research and development of microbiome based therapeutics and technologies has accelerated microbiome based research by the companies.
“Mayo Clinic is conducting pioneering research to further characterize the microbiome signatures associated with serious inflammatory liver diseases, including PSC,” said David Cook, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer of Seres. “We are excited to collaborate with Dr. LaRusso and the Mayo Clinic team on studies that we believe will inform the design of our next-generation of Ecobiotic®therapeutic candidates for treating liver diseases of high unmet medical need”.
Featured image credit: 3d render illustration of colorful bacteria © Satori1312 (Stock Photo ID: 71165428)