Ferring, Rebiotix and MyBiotics have entered into a multi-year collaboration to develop live microbiota-based biotherapeutics to address bacterial vaginosis (BV).
BV is a common vaginal infection among women of reproductive age that has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage and complications to pregnancy and fertility.
The collaboration that harnesses the companies’ collective expertise is a “critical step forward” in addressing women’s health through the microbiome, according to Ken Blount, chief scientific officer at Rebiotix and vice president of microbiome research at Ferring Pharmaceuticals.
Currently, BV is treated with antibiotics, which can disrupt the vaginal microbiome. Because of this, it is common for bacterial vaginosis to return following treatment.
The aim of the microbiota-based therapeutics would be to reduce the need for antibiotic use and provide a long-term treatment solution.
MyBiotics’ collaboration with Rebiotix builds on its existing partnership with Ferring.
“We are excited to build on that strong relationship targeted to bringing novel treatments to patients through our tailor-made microbiome technology platform,” says David Daboush, MyBiotics CEO.
“We look forward to combining our innovative MyCrobe live bacteria culturing, delivery and colonization technology with the development experience of Rebiotix for the benefit of women,” he affirms.
Delivering targeted solutions
MyBiotics has developed “breakthrough” and robust culturing, fermentation and delivery platforms.
Its technology can generate a stable and diverse bacterial community, which can then be delivered to different sites across the human body to restore microbiome balance.
These technologies are effective for single microbes, complex microbial consortia and whole microbiome products and are integrated with a computational AI platform.
The technology enables the design of unique microbial consortia and whole microbiome profiles.
The advanced therapeutics are highly potent and suitable for patients with microbiome-related medical conditions.
Tackling a global problem
BV is highly prevalent. According to a 2019 study, it affects 23 to 29 percent of women across Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.
Within North America, Black and Hispanic women have significantly higher (33 percent and 31 percent, respectively) prevalence compared with other racial groups (white, 23 percent; Asian, 11 percent).
As a result of the widespread condition, there are significant economic costs associated with treatment.
The estimated annual global economic burden of treating symptomatic BV in the US is $4.8 billion.
The US economic burden of BV is nearly tripled when including costs of BV-associated preterm births and human immunodeficiency virus cases.
Advancing the category
The strategic focus on reproductive health demonstrates further expansion of the microbiome-based therapeutics beyond the gut health category.
Chr. Hansen recently described women’s health as one of the fastest-growing categories in the probiotics space and yet remains a widely “overlooked” market.
Last September, Lallemand Health Solutions unveiled its L. plantarum P17630 (Proge P17630) Rosella strain, which is marketed as a highly documented strain isolated from healthy vaginal flora.
In finished products, HUM Nutrition launched a supplement last February to help support the vaginal microbiome and prevent urinary tract infections.
Edited by Missy Green
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