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MicroInventa

Opportunity

A startling number of autoimmune conditions (e.g. Asthma, Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and forms of cancer (e.g. Colorectal, Pancreatic, Breast, Leukemia) have been linked to our microbiome. In the majority of cases, progress towards identifying a treatment has been halted by our inability to culture more than 10% of a person’s gut bacteria. Even in cases where a causal link between a condition and a set of  bacterial strains has been established, our inability to culture “missing” healthy bacteria means that we cannot correct the imbalances when identified. This is true for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s and Celiac Disease. In such cases, the gold standard treatment is a faecal transplant from a healthy microbiome to a diseased microbiome. This has only been shown to work for Colitis.

Solution

MicroInventa cure chronic diseases using personalised microbes. They are able to culture the unculturable: reaching 90% of a person’s gut bacteria. They are therefore able to tackle chronic diseases in which a causal link has been established, but for which we have no effective intervention. Moreover, their culturomics platform is able to identify new targets and compounds for a much broader array of conditions.
MicroInventa use genome mining and bioinformatics to predict which bacteria and metabolites might be valuable, before applying their proprietary high- throughput, automated culturomics platform to isolate, grow and screen for valuable targets. Their first condition is Crohn’s diseases, which affects 780,000 people in the US alone, but for 90% of whom, treatments are currently ineffective.
“People will buy your product no matter how much it costs.” – Emilie Defosses-Foucault, R&D director, Biena
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