Nestlé Health Science and Codexis extends gut disorder partnership

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags: Nestlé, Codexis, gut, microbiome

Nestlé Health Science and Codexis are to extend a gut health-focused pact that sees the two firms continue to develop a lead candidate to address the gastrointestinal (GI) disorder phenylketonuria.

The agreement—signed in 2017—is to extend through to the end of 2021, as work continues on the development of CDX-7108 – an orally taken therapeutic enzyme candidate.

Under agreement terms, Nestlé Health Science and Codexis will retain joint ownership over the rights to CDX-7108, as the partners move this candidate into preclinical and clinical development.

“Our new and extended agreements with Codexis are a demonstration of the progress of the biotherapeutic pipeline as a result of our partnership, building on the previously established clinical success with CDX-6114 targeting phenylketonuria,”​ says Greg Behar, CEO of Nestlé Health Science.

“The CDX-7108 program is the first project performed under the SCA, and in less than two years from conceptualisation, we have created an orally-administrable enzyme candidate that meets our target criteria for advancement.”

CodeEvolver platform

Phenylketonuria is a genetic disorder that causes the decreased metabolism of the amino acid phenylalanine that can lead to intellectual disability, seizures, behavioural and mental problems.

Fortunately, treatment is available with patients following a low phenylalanine diet and babies consuming a special formula with a small amount of breast milk.

John Nicols, Codexis’ President and CEO adds, “This partnership was initiated to leverage and extend the application of the CodeEvolver protein engineering platform and to create novel enzymes that will further fuel our biotherapeutics pipeline.

“Two years into the collaboration, we are excited to advance our first candidate into formal preclinical development.

“In parallel, it is equally satisfying to see Nestlé Health Science endorse the wider possibilities of creating value with our CodeEvolver technology by continuing our productive collaboration on other therapeutic concepts in this extended SCA chapter.”

Nestlé microbiome activity

Nestlé Health Science’s interests in the microbiome stem from the need to discover how dietary habits impact on the microbiome and human health ultimately developing nutritional tailored solutions.

The food giant announced in November a partnership​with the Center for Microbiome Innovation (CMI)​ at the University of California San Diego that aims to garner further insight into how the microbiome affects human health.

Amsterdam-based microbiome specialist Caelus Health were also on Nestlé’s list of collaborators, when they teamed up​ to develop and commercialise microbiome-based food supplements.

The agreement provided Caelus with funding to pursue preclinical and clinical development of its lead microbiome-based products for the prevention, early treatment and management of cardio-metabolic diseases.

Three years ago, a joint venture​ between microbiome-focused Enterome and Nestlé Health Science was formed that focused on the discovery and commercialisation of innovative diagnostics for a variety of microbiome-related diseases.

The 50/50 joint venture between Enterome, a French company active in therapies for microbiome-related diseases, and Nestlé Health Science bought together ways to discover and develop diagnostics in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and liver diseases.

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