The microbiome is set to reshape the way we treat some of today’s most critical diseases—Crohn’s, diabetes, multiple types of cancers, and more.
In the past, we’ve discussed how the food and beverage industry and big pharma can capitalize on the microbiome opportunity. But how is the opportunity playing out in the actual market for microbiome innovation?
While therapeutics is currently the leading segment for microbiome innovation, diagnostics and nutrition are proving to be key areas of research due to growing incidences of unhealthy lifestyle related diseases and the need for personalized medicine and diet.
Regardless of which segment seems most appropriate for your company, now is the time to act on microbiome activity and develop your strategy. If you’re starting to look into microbiome innovation, here are 12 private companies to watch as the market grows:
1. Eligo Bioscience: A focus on precise antimicrobials will help discriminate between close bacterial strains and selectively eradicate harmful bacteria from the microbiome while sparing the beneficial ones. Eligo Biosciences is in the pre-clinical tech maturity phase and has raised $3M in dilutive and non dilutive funding up to date.
2. Kallyope: Developing a platform that harnesses the “gut-brain axis” to transform therapeutics and consumer products to improve human health and nutrition. Kallyope is advanced in terms of market strength, but is still in the publication phase, meaning the company still has to mature in terms of technology.
3. EpiBiome: A precision microbiome engineering company whose mission is to surveil bacterial populations and to develop effective and sustainable FDA-approved therapies to combat infectious diseases in humans and agriculture without the use of shared-class antibiotics. EpiBiome has patented its technology, but has not achieved significant market strength to this point.
4. Xycrobe: The company’s platform addresses the needs of patients with inflammatory skin disease through the development of a library of “good” bacteria strains designed to be used for therapeutic purposes. Xycrobe is similar to EpiBiome in that it has patented its platform but is not yet advanced in terms of market strength, although a recent partnership with Johnson & Johnson will help to apply its technology in treating inflammatory skin diseases.
5. Enterome Bioscience: This Paris-based company is using human gut microbiome research to treat inflammatory bowel diseases and metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. The EB 8018 product will take advantage of the company’s metagenomics platform to target the intestinal microbiome. Enterome Bioscience already has a strong position in the market, but is still in the pre-clinical phase of tech maturity.
6. Evolve Biosystems: This company focuses on pregnancy because infants with higher rates of respiratory, GI disorders and hyper-allergenic responses have been correlated to gut microbiome health in their mothers. With a probiotic-based biotherapeutics system, Evolve Biosystems aims to improve infant microbiome health in the first six months. The company has pushed for tech maturity and is currently in a phase I clinical trial, but has little market strength.
7. Second Genome: A clinical-stage company with a focus on overcoming the current limitations in target discovery and validation by integrating microbiome research with human disease biology. Although it is still in a phase I clinical trial, Second Genome has the greatest market strength of these 12 private companies. It has a novel technology platform that focuses on developing therapies for cancer, inflammatory bowel syndrome, and oral health. Second Genome has partnered with Phizer, Janssen, and other Big Pharma companies.
8. Vedanta Biosciences: By leveraging discoveries in mucosal immunology, Vedanta generates safe and potent treatments that restore intestinal homeostasis with an initial emphasis in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Vedanta is slightly behind Second Genome in terms of market strength, but is slightly ahead in terms of tech maturity.
9. C3 Jian: A clinical-stage biotech company that is leading the emerging oral health microbiome application area. Specifically, C3 Jian aims to commercialize targeted, or pathogen-specific, antimicrobials that treat and prevent diseases caused by microbial dysbiosis. The company shares similar market strength to Second Genome and Vedanta Biosciences, but is ahead in terms of tech maturity at a phase II clinical trial.
10. Rebiotix: A biotech company working to commercialize fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) research by creating bacteria and fecal microbiota products, delivering live, human microbes into patient guts to treat related diseases. Rebiotix doesn’t have the market strength that C3 Jian has, but has reached moderate maturity (phase II clinical trial).
11. uBiome: With its SmartGut™ product, uBiome provides actionable insights to improve your gut health with sequencing-based clinical microbiome screening tests. The company recently raised $15.5 million and is launching a DNA test for your fecal matter.
12. ISOThrive: Similar to uBiome, ISOThrive is already out in the market. The food supplement helps consumers get back the prebiotic soluble fiber necessary to help the gut function properly. ISOThrive’s technology is a leader in the nutrition application area for microbiome innovation, but the company is still weak in terms of market strength.
Big pharma doesn’t have time to start from scratch on a new microbiome product. Mergers and acquisitions will be the quickest way to leverage the microbiome opportunity—but how can you actually navigate this complicated landscape of innovators?
Just because a company has mature technology or great market strength doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the right investment for your business. Traditionally, making a smart acquisition decision took months (or even years). The problem is that big pharma doesn’t have that kind of time anymore.
If you want to learn how a modern intelligence platform can help you streamline your decision-making processes to capitalize on microbiome innovation in weeks or a few months instead of potentially years, contact us for a demo of the Signals Playbook™ platform.
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Written by Eyal Akiva
Eyal Akiva is a Life Sciences Research Analyst at Signals Analytics, a Decision Science as a Service company, that enables global organizations to continuously experience the “aha moment” through Signals Playbook™, a cloud-based analytical intelligence platform that transforms the world’s unconnected data into actionable insights to enhance customer experience, optimize product portfolio health and propel innovation. Eyal holds an MBA in Finance, M.Sc in Medical Sciences and a double B.Sc in Life Sciences and in Business Administration, from Tel Aviv University.