Janssen and Kaleido Biosciences form gut-focused pact to address childhood disorders

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

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©iStock/

Related tags: Janssen, Kaleido, MMT

Janssen is to team up with Kaleido Biosciences to explore microbiome-related therapies that focus on healthy gut function to help preventing atopic, immune and metabolic conditions in childhood.

The agreement, which involves Janssen’s World Without Disease Accelerator, will investigate Microbiome Metabolic Therapies (MMT) – an approach that drives specific microbiome features which supports the maturation of the infant immune system.

“Research has shown the microbiome has the potential to impact a broad range of diseases, so the ability of our MMTs to drive the composition and function of the gut resident microbes could hold significant promise for improving health,”​ says Johan van Hylckama Vlieg, Kaleido’s chief scientific officer

“We are excited to apply our platform and extend our research in microbiome-driven immune modulation into infant health together with Janssen.

“This program will build on and deepen our understanding of how MMTs promote the growth of beneficial microbes driving the gut ecosystem to support immune homeostasis and reduce the risk of onset for allergies and other health conditions.”

Screening platform

According to Kaleido, a main research emphasis will harness the firm’s proprietary ex vivo​ screening platform that houses over 1,000 MMT glycan candidates.

These MMTs are designed to modulate the metabolic output and profile of the microbiome by driving the function and distribution of the organ’s existing microbes.

In addition, these compounds can be orally administered, are selectively metabolised in the gut and have limited systemic exposure.

“MMTs work through one or more mechanisms of action: increasing the production of metabolites, decreasing the production of metabolites, and advantaging or disadvantaging certain species in the microbiome community,”​ says US-based Kaleido.

These MMTs will then be further evaluated for their ability to prevent atopic conditions such as infant allergy.

JHMI collaborations

The Accelerator’s microbiome team, previously recognised as the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI), currently have several ongoing collaborations that include one with Israeli-based DayTwo Ltd. and the Weizmann Institute of Science.

The partnership looks to pursue microbiome-based health solutions targeting metabolic disorders. where human microbiome datasets are mined to identify and validate microbiome-based pharmaceutical therapies.

The JHMI has also partnered with Caelus Health to develop pharmaceutical products based on in-human insights for the treatment of obesity-associated T2DM and cardio-metabolic complications.

Janssen has teamed up with DNAnexus to sponsor challenges on Mosaic, a cloud-based microbiome informatics platform providing a secure and collaborative space where researchers can develop, improve, compare, and share microbiome research methods.

The challenges encourage community-driven research and seek answers to speed the translation of microbiome science into insights to inform novel product development.

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