Making good bacteria more resilient

Lab Technician.  Photo: Reuters

Israeli microbiome company MyBiotics Pharma's MyCrobe technology aims to let good bacteria live longer in the gut.

Israeli microbiome therapeutics company MyBiotics Pharma Ltd. has signed an option to license agreement with Ferring Holding Ltd. granting Ferring the option to receive the rights to use MyBiotics's MyCrobe technology for women's health. The technology makes good bacteria more resilient and potent and with high potential to improve patient condition. The two companies already have a previous agreement for treatment of the digestion system.

Based in Ness Ziona, MyBiotics was founded in 2014 by CEO David Daboush, board member Dr. David Baram and chief scientist Omry Koren. Daboush became interested in microbiomes when a close family member fell ill with Parkinson's disease. He became fascinated by the connection between the nervous systems of the gut and the brain and the influence of the bacteria in the gut with the nervous system of the gut and consequently on the brain.

He said, "We saw a gap between the great results received in microbiome research on animals in illnesses like autism, depression and obesity compared with their actual application. The probiotics that exist today aren't able to survive in the gut and are also not precise enough."

The only success to date of treatment using bacteria in the gut is in planting feces to treat Clostridium difficile, a severe infection that usually attacks hospitalized patients. Typically the disease strikes when a single bacterium takes control of the patient's gut but planting the feces fills the gut with a range of bacteria that restores the natural bacteria mix of the intestines. The result is that patients whose lives were in danger are able to fully recover. It seems that planting the feces can be effective in instances of both infected and irritable intestines. However, there is a concern that transferring bacteria from intestine to intestine could leave the donor vulnerable to other infections.

"Because of these concerns, the FDA ios awaiting more data before approving the treatment for diseases that are not life threatening," Daboush said.

Probiotics, which attempts to implant a range of specific bacteria in the gut, is a form of treatment which is generally approved, although most of the bacteria fail to survive. It is this problem that MyBiotics tries to solve.

"Our development is a procedure that we perform on the bacteria that protects them from biodegrading," Daboush continued. "In an industrial way, we imitate the process that takes place spontaneously in nature. When we gave mice the bacteria that had undergone our procedure, it survives in their gut for almost two weeks, compared with just a day or two with existing methods. Our procedure that they undergo is patent protected. It is simple and connected to the physical conditions in which the bacteria are grown."

Is there not a danger that you will make a certain bacteria too resilient or too strong?

"These are not dangerous bacteria so that even in their more resilient form the system can eject them with relative ease."

MyBiotics is in the preclinical stage - that is to say trials on animals. The next stage is to develop a food additive designed to be taken with antibiotics and which rehabilitate the intestinal flora after the drug is taken. In the future the company plans developing a product to treat Clostridium difficile without implanting feces.

"We began with a healthy donor but at the moment we are growing the desired bacteria for ourselves. In the future, the donor will reach the stage of genetic scanning of all bacteria to create the idea mix."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on March 12, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

Lab Technician.  Photo: Reuters
Lab Technician. Photo: Reuters
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