The vision of MicroInventa is to predict, isolate and grow valuable bacterial strains from the human intestinal microbiome for the purpose of therapeutic microbiome engineering.
The last decade of research has brought a tremendous surge in our understanding of the intestinal microbiome and its role in a wide range of human diseases. Metagenomic studies have linked disturbances in the bacterial composition of the intestinal microbiome to various health conditions, including allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, and cancer.
These findings have incited hopes for a rapid clinical development of microbiome-based therapies. Currently, the only approved microbiome therapy approved by the FDA is faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). FMT is becoming a viable, and effective treatment for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. However, widespread therapeutic application of FMT is hampered by difficulties to standardise and control the procedure, since it involves the transfer of a large number of bacteria, viruses, and other eukaryotes, not all of which are needed or tolerated by the recipient.
A promising alternative strategy for treating these conditions is to supplement and eliminate specific beneficial and pathogenic bacterial strains, respectively, with the goal of re-establishing a healthy microbiome composition. Importantly, gut bacteria secrete metabolites with therapeutic value. MicroInventa uses algorithms to predict the presence of biosynthetic gene clusters for valuable metabolites and is building cutting-edge microfluidic technology to isolate bacterial strains from the gut that release these metabolites. Using this approach, we aim to develop the next-generation probiotic and postbiotic drugs for the treatment of microbiome-associated diseases.