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Global microbiome market to triple by 2022, with France a primary driver

By David Anderson , 29-Jun-2017
Last updated on 11-Jul-2017 at 10:30 GMT2017-07-11T10:30:38Z

© iStock/ peshkov
© iStock/ peshkov

The global microbiome market is forecast to nearly triple in size to €0.44bn ($0.5bn) by 2022, according to a new report, which pinpointed France, Israel and the US as market leaders. 

The report, called ‘The Human Microbiome: A New Protagonist in Managing Human Health’, cites the market evolving through closer ties between the nutrition and pharmaceutical industries.

Compiled by Seventure Partners, the European venture capitalist company which specialises in the microbiome sector, its CEO and managing partner, Isabelle de Crémoux, told NutraIngredients: “I think the {microbome] field is still in its infancy, compared to where I see it growing in the next decade,” 

The report charts how scientists’ increased understanding of the relationship between humans and their symbiotic microbes is helping create opportunities for those involved in the nutritional, diagnostic and therapeutic fields.

It documents recent scientific advances relating to the gut microbiome and details how big corporations and small start-ups are advancing in the field.

Size of the market

The global human microbiome market is expected to reach €0.44bn ($0.5bn) by 2022, leaping from €158m ($180m) in 2016, the report says.

The growth is being powered by investment from governments, private equity and other commercial businesses.

Speaking to NutraIngredients, de Crémoux said a crucial turning point, which generated momentum behind the field, was an article published in the magazine Nature in 2010.

“There has been a scientific push. I think the turning point was in 2010 when Nature published its cover page on the fact that the full genome of the microbiome had been sequenced.”

“From that, many research teams both in the pharma and nutrition industry, private and academic, have used this enabling technology to measure and map the microbiome composition.”

Countries which are driving the market

De Crémoux said that a number of countries, including the UK, Ireland and Germany were investing in major research projects in the field.

“Many countries have understood the potential boost from an economic perspective as well as from a public health perspective,” she told us.

“Many countries have started to put massive grants programmes of public money into the field. The same way venture capitalists have also started to value this field.”

“From a money perspective, the US are investing the highest amount in this field.”

Before he left office, president Obama signed off on the National Microbiome Initiative (NMI), an ambition plan for a better understanding of microbes which garnered €0.44bn ($0.5bn) of funding from government agencies, universities, non-profit organisation and other companies.

“From a science perspective, I think France in addition to the US is in the top three scientific leaders worldwide. US is at the top,” she told us.

De Crémoux also pointed to France and Israel as two countries which are at the forefront of housing start-ups in this field.

“Investing in the microbiome was considered exotic when we started six years ago,” she said.

“With a market predicted to be worth over half a billion US dollars by 2022, investing in microbiome based companies is now rapidly becoming mainstream, with an exponential growth of innovative companies being founded to develop products based on new biological insights,” she added.

A total of €655m ($744m) was privately invested in microbiome companies focused on oncology, metabolic disease, infectious disease, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and Clostridium difficile between 2011 and 2016, the report notes.

Closer ties between pharma and nutritional industries

The report also chronicles how the nutrition and pharmaceutical fields are working closer together to find solutions in the field of the gut microbiome and will continue to forge closer ties in the future.

The report notes: “As the nutrition and pharma industries are interfacing with regards to the gut microbiome, this could also lead to a more holistic approach to health, where simple diagnostic tools are used as a guide to combine prevention, nutrition and therapy to lead patients and the general population to better health outcomes.”

It added: "Several microbiome experts told us that there will be a further blurring between prescription drugs, medical nutrition and everyday food.”

“Set in a 10- to 20-year future, a possible journey of a person at risk or a patient could employ the microbiome as an early indicator for disease predispositions, leading to an adjusted nutrition up to the prescription of a drug ‘cocktail’.”

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