A partnership between Chr. Hansen and three academic institutes –Rowett Institute, Wageningen University and University of Groningen – has led to the addition of new strains into the Chr Hansen library.
“From over 1000 recently screened strains from the human microbiome, we have identified a subset of 100 that can be developed for a broad array of health indications associated with gastrointestinal, immune and metabolic health,” said Johan van Hylckama Vlieg, VP of microbiome and human health innovation.
The Danish firm said adding a well-documented collection of novel strains from microbiome species, such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Eubacterium hallii that are widely regarded as primary candidates for next generation probiotics, is a major milestone.
The newly added strains will be used both for Chr. Hansen’s internal innovation efforts, and made available to external partners and customers looking to accelerate development of next generation probiotics, said the company.
“Now we have a shortlisted selection of strains that we believe will be of major interest to innovators in the microbiome space, who are looking to develop next generation of probiotics and live biotherapeutics. It is our goal to help our customers and partners move these new documented strains from the lab to the clinic,” commented Chr. Hansen senior scientist Gemma Henderson.
“Our safety assessment includes screening for absence of antibiotic resistance and virulence factors. We also looked for their ability to grow in industrial media and sensitivity to oxygen. And we also screened for the ability of strains to impact the immune system,” she added.
However, the company noted that developing these sort of ‘microbiome strains’ as next generation probiotics for food and supplement applications presents unique challenges. For example, many of the relevant species have no history of commercialisation and were until recently described as difficult to cultivate. This means that many strains require new techniques for cultivation and production.