The 50/50 joint venture between Enterome, a French company active in therapies for microbiome-related diseases, and Nestlé Health Science will bring together complementary platforms and capabilities – enabling the discovery and development of diagnostics in multiple diseases areas, including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and liver diseases, said the companies in a press release.
As part of the deal Enterome will contribute its current microbiome diagnostic programs, in addition to intellectual property (IP) derived from its microbiome-based platforms in all therapeutic areas except immuno-oncology.
Prometheus Laboratories, part of Nestlé Health Science, will contribute its diagnostics development and commercialisation expertise, while Nestlé Health Science itself will invest €20 million in return for its 50% stake and exclusive commercialisation options on the initial programs.
The new company, to be known as Microbiome Diagnostics Partners (MDP) will focus on the development of diagnostics assessment and management of IBD – based on Enterome's IBD110 microbiome-derived mucosal healing biomarker – and the development of diagnostic products for liver diseases including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) – based on Enterome's MET210 biomarker.
Prometheus will also provide its serum-based biomarkers to both development programs.
"The formation of Microbiome Diagnostics Partners is an important milestone for Enterome, as it brings together powerful and complementary technologies and capabilities to enable the creation of a new generation of diagnostic and companion diagnostic products,” said Pierre Belichard, CEO of Enterome.
Belichard will become chairman of a new governing board for MDP, while Warren Cresswell, general manager and head of Prometheus Diagnostics, will become a board member of MDP in addition to assuming the role of CEO at MDP.
“Mastering the microbiome is an important facet of our strategy to advance the therapeutic role of nutrition and we see also new opportunities being created for personalised nutrition both for the healthy population and for patients,” commented Greg Behar, CEO of Nestlé Health Science.
"MDP is equipped to lead diagnostic discovery in the microbiome field, opening the door to innovative therapeutic approaches combining diagnostics (Dx), nutritional therapies (Nx) and therapeutics (Rx).”