Speaking at Probiota earlier this month, Dr Daniel Ramon Vidal, vice-president R&D, ADM applauded the efforts achieved so far in an industry still considered in its infancy.
In the same breath, Dr Vidal also took the opportunity to discuss a number of issues for the future that threaten to slow down or even disrupt the search and profiling of new probiotic strains.
“I’d like to differentiate between the scientific and business challenges,” said Dr Daniel Ramon Vidal, vice-president R&D, ADM and director at Biopolis.
“In the case of science, it is clear. We need to invest more time and money in the study of metabolites or metabolomics.
“If we have a good understanding of the metabolome, then in the future, we can have an advanced understanding of the microbiome.”
“In the case of business, we have the issue of regulation. We need to open dialogue with regulators as soon as possible regarding the routes to eventual approval.”
Investing time and money
For Dr Vidal, also a director at microbial biotech company Biopolis, the choice to invest time and money in the study of probiotic strains’ mechanisms of action will not go to waste especially as regulatory requirements are looking to include this knowledge to make final decisions.
“At the moment we have data about the mechanisms of action of certain probiotic strains. You are defining what metabolite or metabolites are responsible for that,” Dr Vidal said.
“So currently you have two propositions. One is the probiotic and the other involves the process of purifying the metabolite. This is a whole other issue and probably more related to pharma and other regulatory requirements.
“But this is something for the future. I am sure that other companies are working on that. It is clear for us that we need to invest time in the identification of the strain’s mechanisms action but also the identification of the molecules and products for the future.”