The investment will be made over two years and will give BioGaia 35% of the share capital of MetaboGen, which specialises in improving understanding of the gut metagenome. It aims to sequence the genes of microbes present in the human gut to find patterns that could be related to health and disease. Once such patterns are identified, the next step would be to develop treatments and products that work by influencing gut microbiota.
CEO of BioGaia Peter Rothschild said in a statement that the collaboration would aim “to develop the next generation of probiotic products that could be possible with the help of this new and advanced technology”.
Rothschild will become chairman of the board of MetaboGen.
MetaboGen was founded in 2011 by Professor Fredrik Bäckhed of the University of Gothenburg and Professor Jens B Nielsen of Chalmers University of Technology, both of whom run research teams at their respective universities.
They work together with GU Holding, which commercialises research results and develops companies linked to the University of Gothenburg.
Professor Bäckhed said: “The fit with BioGaia as an investor in MetaboGen is perfect for the future. Our research coupled with BioGaia’s knowledge and experience in developing and marketing microbial based products is a unique combination that has high likelihood of success.”