Microbiotica (Cambridge, UK) enters $534M deal with Genentech to develop treatments for IBD

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UK biotech Microbiotica has entered into a multi-year collaboration with Genentech, one of the world’s first biotechs, to develop microbiome-based treatments for inflammatory bowel disease.

Microbiotica, based in Cambridge, UK has entered into a collaboration with Genentech that could be worth up to €452M ($534M), a formidable amount in the microbiome space, with an undisclosed upfront payment. Their goal is to discover and develop new microbiome-based treatments, biomarkers and targets for inflammatory bowel disease, however, more specific information has not been released. The fact that Genentech, one of the oldest biotechs and now owned by Roche, is collaborating with Microbiotica underscores the therapeutic potential of microbiome-based treatments.

Microbiotica will analyze patient samples from Genentech’s inflammatory bowel disease clinical trials to identify new drug targets for the condition, study biomarkers that provide information on drug response, and develop new therapeutic products made of living bacteria. The company’s microbiota culture collection and reference genome database can perform metagenomic analyses and functional studies to match a gut bacterium with its particular function.

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Javier Velasco