NovoBiome enters microbiome arena with AI tech primed to probe gut-liver link

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Newly formed NovoBiome uses AI tech to probe gut-liver link

Related tags: Novobiome, Liver, NASH, LBP, NAFLD

Newly formed NovoBiome becomes the latest firm to delve into the gut microbiome as it aims to harness Artificial Intelligence (AI) to develop Live Biotherapeutic Products (LBPs) that address liver conditions.

NovoBiome, which counts French public research bodies, The National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRAE) and the Bioaster as partners, now look to press ahead with its first LBP drug candidate that targets Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and Non-Alcoholic Steato-Hepatitis (NASH).

“The microbiome is a fast growing and disruptive field of research that has the potential to revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of liver diseases,”​ says Pierre-Yves Mousset, NovoBiome’s Chief Executive Officer.

“NovoBiome has been founded to exploit the broad potential of LBPs that target the critical microbiome-gut-liver axis.

“The role of gut bacteria in the large and growing NAFLD and NASH markets has been clearly documented and NovoBiome aims to provide the first ecosystem treatment approach.”

‘Third metabolic wave’

Novobiome now joins a host of organisations looking to advance current research into the two liver-related conditions, that according to NovoBiome will form the ‘third wave’ in metabolic diseases, after obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

Global data has attributed the growing epidemic of metabolic disorders to the development of Western lifestyles.

Owing to this, the NASH market is expected to reach €15.2bn ($18.3bn) by 2026 in the US and Europe’s five largest markets, a CAGR of 63% from 2016.

Galmed Pharmaceuticals and MyBiotics Pharma recently joined forces in a R&D collaboration looking into how the microbiome responds to a compound used to treat non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

The agreement will see MyBiotics’ SuperDonor technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered screening platforms attempt to model a NASH patient's gut flora to assist the compound’s efficacy and response rate.

Galmed’s compound, Aramchol is a novel fatty acid bile acid conjugate that in studies has proved capable of influencing lipid metabolism in the liver – a function that is impaired in NASH.

Novobiome’s AI-powered discovery platform NovoSift, is designed to mimic human intestinal physiology that hopefully will unlock insights into compounds and LBP drug candidates.

The platform blends four best-in-class technologies, all nominated “Method of the Year” by Nature Magazine that comprises of high-throughput functional metagenomics, human intestinal organoids, high resolution fluorescent confocal microscopy and a deep learning AI algorithm.

LBP drug candidate ADC-001

The firm’s LBP drug candidate ADC-001 comprises an anti-inflammatory bacterium, Coriobacteriia​ that has demonstrated potent therapeutic effects in vitro​ and in animal models. It is currently in development with the aim of entering human trials by 2022-2023.

The drug candidate specifically contains Adlercreutzia equolifaciens,​ an equol-producing bacterium isolated from human faeces that is strongly correlated with the switch from NAFLD to NASH.

Previous research has linked the bacterium with a “healthy” status while other notable research has noted its disappearance in those suffering from cirrhosis.

Adlercreutzia equolifaciens​ is said to play a role in reducing inflammation, decreasing hyperglycaemia and limits weight gain in in vivo ​models transplanted with NASH patient microbiota.

NovoBiome has assembled a team of experts in microbiome research and AI and is led by Pierre-Yves Mousset as the firm’s Chief Executive Officer.

Also included in the line-up is Hervé Blottière, Chief Scientific Officer; Olivier Tastet, Chief AI Officer; and Joël Doré, Senior Scientific Consultant.

“With a strong founding team, excellent science, best-in-class technologies and enthusiastic support from investors, we are well positioned to become a leader in discovering next generation gut-liver therapies,” ​adds Mousset.

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