Microba announces new research partnership and senior appointment

Major announcements for Microba Life Sciences (ASX:MAP) with a new partnership and the appointment of a new senior vice president for therapeutics.

The precision microbiome science company has announced a partnership with US-based Ginkgo Bioworks under which they will work to identify single-strain, live bacteria product (LBP) candidates against autoimmune diseases.

Microba said the partnership will build on its precision approach to LBP development with an in-depth evaluation of its strains using Ginkgo’s high throughput, automated screening capabilities.

The human gut microbiome is composed of trillions of bacteria that have an outsized influence on human health and disease. In recent years, scientists have developed a deeper understanding of the relationship between specific bacteria residing in the gut and various health outcomes, leading to a growing interest in using bacteria for therapeutic applications.

“We believe the human microbiome currently represents a missing piece in the treatment of major chronic diseases, and as a result a number of microbiome-based therapeutics are progressing through clinical development globally,” said Microba CEO Dr Luke Reid.

“Ginkgo’s high throughput screening automation combined with our novel data-driven approach to therapeutic discovery from the microbiome can potentially accelerate development of breakthrough new drugs for autoimmune diseases.”

“Microba is doing truly innovative work during an exciting time for the field of microbiome science,” said Jennifer Wipf, the senior vice president of commercial cell engineering of Ginkgo. “We’re happy to welcome new partners like Microba as we apply our platform to more applications in the living therapeutics and microbiome space.”

Microba will launch its Initial Public Offering on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) today (5 April).

The company also announced the appointment of Professor Trent Munro as senior vice president of therapeutics.

Professor Munro has over 25 years of research and development experience, including with multinational biopharmaceutical company Amgen.

Dr Reid said, “As the company enters into clinical trials, Professor Munro brings significant pharmaceutical and US drug development experience to advance our therapeutic programs and establish partnerships with large pharmaceutical companies.”

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