Rapidly advancing understanding of the relationship between humans and their symbiotic microbes, and how their imbalance (dysbiosis) triggers or contributes to diseases will transform opportunities for novel nutritional, diagnostic and therapeutic products, says a new report by Seventure Partners, one of Europe’s leaders in financing innovation, and a world-leader in the venture investment in the microbiome sector.
Published today at the start of the Microbiome Discovery and Development Congress in Berlin, Germany, the report, “The Human Microbiome: A New Protagonist in Managing Human Health,” focuses on the gut microbiome and describes recent scientific advances and the reaction of the life sciences and healthcare industry to this emerging field.
The report discusses the need to embrace dysbiosis, the holistic nature of the gut microbiome’s effects on the body and focuses on the micro-ecology – new targets and tools needed to decipher the microbiome.
The report also delves into the issues around paradigm shift and opportunities in the field, highlighting those companies and the forefront of microbiome research and development.
Industry has already embraced the potential of the microbiome – from the small start-up to large corporates.
Commenting in the report, Dr Dirk Gevers, Global Head, Janssen Human Microbiome Institute, Johnson & Johnson said that “inevitably, the patient journey of the future will combine elements of microbiome diagnostics and prescription drugs, with host-specific therapy and nutrition.”
Isabelle de Crémoux, CEO and Managing Partner, Seventure Partners, commented: “Investing in the microbiome was considered exotic when we started 6 years ago. With a market predicted to be worth more than half a billion US dollars by 2022, investing in microbiome based companies is now rapidly becoming mainstream, with an exponential growth of innovative companies being founded to develop products based on new biological insights.”
A total of $744 million was privately invested in microbiome companies focused on oncology, metabolic disease, infectious disease, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and Clostridium difficile between 2011 and 2016.
While more than a third was invested in developing treatments for GI disorders (including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), 6% of the total was invested in the emerging oncology/microbiome interface.
Metabolic diseases received a 16% split, while infectious diseases took a fifth. Investment into Clostridium difficile stood at 22%. Geographically, more than $600 million was invested in North America, with the remainder invested in Europe.
The report features research based on extensive literature review, supplemented by a series of interviews with leading scientists, industry executives, entrepreneurs and investors.
It includes perspectives on the impact of the microbiome on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases, the interface between nutrition and the pharmaceutical industry, as well as the current and future challenges that will need to be overcome, including evolving regulatory requirements. The findings of the report were previewed during Seventure’s workshop during Bio-Europe Spring in Barcelona.
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