The change comes as the firm received US approval this month for a Phase 1 trial looking into how a live single bacterial strain of Christensenella minuta could be used to address obesity and metabolic disorders.
According to YSOPIA Bioscience’s CEO Georges Rawadi, the approval represents further commitment to developing Live Biotherapeutic Products (LBPs) and transition to a clinical stage biotechnology company.
“This new name, YSOPIA Bioscience, symbolizes the major success of our teams in advancing to the clinic, in line with our ambition to become a major player in therapies based on the gut microbiome properties,” he explains.
“We strive to demonstrate the efficacy of Christensenella bacteria in human health in order to offer a therapeutic solution to patients suffering from chronic pathologies."
Four drug candidates
Along with the approval for drug candidate Yso1, YSOPIA also have in place three development programs for drugs candidates that harness key gut bacteria and their benefits to address human health.
These include Yso2 and Yso3, which in collaboration with the Micalis Institute, is looking to develop a new LBP to tackle a range of inflammatory diseases, including Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Another candidate, Yso4 could play a role in another LBP, this time to tackle mood disorders. YSOPIA has an exclusive license on the patent from the University of Valencia that covers therapeutic applications of Christensenella bacteria in these indications.
The agreement with the university, struck in April of this year, also granted YSOPIA worldwide research, manufacturing and marketing rights of therapeutics developed.
“The gut-brain axis is certainly one of the most innovative area in drug discovery today, and it is an exciting opportunity for us to leverage our expertise in preclinical, manufacturing and regulatory activities to develop first in class products in that field,” said Rawadi at the time.
“We are pleased to announce today the acquisition of this new licence that broadens the applications of our Live Biotherapeutic Products to mood disorders, which is an area of high unmet medical needs.”
C. minuta and obesity
Christensenella minuta, which was discovered back in 2012, came into its own after research identified the strain as the most heritable bacterial taxon in humans.
That same research also suggested Christensenella minuta numbers were significantly reduced in obese European individuals.
Further research also confirmed these findings along with suggestions that high levels of C. minuta were linked to reduced circulating levels of triglycerides and higher HDL cholesterol (also known as “good” cholesterol).