The agreement looks to harness Artificial Intelligence (AI) in their hunt for these biomarkers, employing Ardigen’s microbiome platform with The BioCollective’s stool sample data collected from PD patients.
“Parkinson’s is an incredibly complex systemic disease and clues to untangling that complexity are increasingly revealed in the microbiome,” reveals Martha Carlin, CEO of The BioCollective.
“We believe that this partnership will help progress our collective understanding of the microbiome’s role in human health, and that combining our microbiome expertise with exciting AI tools like those developed by Ardigen will translate exponentially to combat diseases like Parkinson’s, and beyond.”
The news comes as researchers from the University of Geneva claim to have confirmed the link between gut microbiota imbalance and the development of amyloid plaques in the brain that are characteristic of neurodegenerative disorders.
Along with Italian colleagues, findings from the team identified proteins produced by intestinal bacteria that could modify interactions between the immune and nervous system triggering Alzheimer's Disease.
The partnership will look to build on these and similar findings as BioCollective’s metagenomic and patient metadata from stool samples will aid in identifying early onset PD diagnosis or disease progression biomarkers in the microbiome.
Ardigen’s AI-powered technology also uses bioinformatics to identify metagenomic features that are typical for a given group of patients.
These features are interpreted as functional units that can be then translated into candidates for biomarkers, and further therapeutic development.
The core of the platform is a proprietary algorithm capable of using whole metagenomic information from a cohort to retrieve microbiome-derived signals that may be responsible for a patient’s status.
“We are thrilled to start working with The BioCollective to develop microbiome-derived biomarkers applying our breakthrough technology powered by Artificial Intelligence,” adds Kaja Milanowska-Zabel, SVP General Director of Microbiome Unit of Ardigen.
Ardigen, based in Kraków have previously highlighted the possible role of the microbiome in the diagnosis of virus-based diseases but also as a target treatment area for milder courses and faster recovery from COVID19.
Their thoughts are backed up by a study that investigated interactions between the virus and other microorganisms in the lung.
The study found the microbiota in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients was similar to those in community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) patients.
Microbial diversity was lower in pneumonia patients than in healthy controls, but no specific microbiota pattern was identified among COVID-19 patients and CAP patients.
According to the study, a possible reason for this could be the use of antibiotics in pneumonia patients.
Another study successfully used metagenomic next-generation sequencing to characterise Cambodia’s first case of COVID-2019.
The study identified metagenomics as an effective approach to detect variants of both novel and known species as epidemics evolve.
“Overall, agnostic or unbiased metagenomic sequencing capabilities in-country provide the ability to detect and respond to a variety of pathogens, even those that are unanticipated or unknown,” the study states.
“Bridging of existing local and global resources for sequencing and analysis will allow for better real-time local surveillance, while also enabling better health pursuits overall, not just during outbreaks.”