GSK and Viome expand microbiome-based cancer therapeutics deal

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

GSK and Viome expand microbiome-based cancer therapeutics deal

Related tags: Gsk, viome, microbiome

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are to expand on an existing collaboration with Viome that looks into links between the gut microbiome and certain cancers.

The two-year expansion will once again utilise Viome's proprietary microbiome analysis and Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms that aim to find the root causes of these cancers as well as a number of chronic disorders.

"A better understanding of the interactions between the immune system and microbiome – which have been shown to have a significant impact on human health – has been part of GSK's innovation strategy,"​ says Rino Rappuoli, Head of R&D Vaccines, GSK.

"By combining our robust expertise in immunology with Viome's unique technology with its proprietary mRNA analysis and artificial intelligence platform, we look forward to uncovering additional key insights into chronic diseases."

Personalised profile

Viome’s technology applies AI to complex biological data to provide personalised diet, nutrition and lifestyle recommendations for healthy living.

Founded in 2016, the Seattle-based startup uses advanced Metatranscriptomic Sequencing Technology to provide insights into gut health.

Through a stool sample, the technology identifies bacteria, viruses, fungi, phages, yeast, parasites and other organisms living in the gut microbiome.

Viome analyses all the strains and species of microorganisms in the gut and then determines exactly how active they all are.

From there, Viome runs the data through an advanced AI algorithm called VIE, which uses an extensive database to come up with personalised nutrition recommendations to balance the gut microbiome and ecosystem.

By combining these insights with GSK's immunology expertise, the deal hopes to identify the microbes and their mechanisms that contribute to chronic diseases using a clinical validation trial.

The confirmation of firm links between the gut microbiome and chronic disorders could then pave the way to create new tests identifying the individuals best suited for new precision vaccine therapies.

Rooting out cancer causes

"Most chronic disorders are treated with drugs targeting symptoms and not causes,”​ says Viome CEO and Founder, Naveen Jain.

“Viome's unique mRNA technology and state-of-the-art artificial intelligence platform have the potential to find the root causes of specific chronic disorders and cancers.

“With that critical information and the unique expertise of GSK, we aspire to one day cure these diseases and not just manage the symptoms,” ​Jain adds.  

"We are excited to expand our collaboration with GSK to develop preventative and therapeutic measures for chronic diseases and cancers."

GSK and Eligo

GSK’s interests in the microbiome extended towards skin health in a deal potentially worth €185m ($224m) with Eligo Bioscience inked in January this year.

The agreement saw the firms target the microbiome to reduce the risk of developing acne with Eligo receiving an upfront payment along with R&D funding to develop EB005, the Paris-based firm’s discovery program for acne, until preclinical proof of concept.

Here, GSK have the option to form a license and collaboration deal with Eligo to further develop EB005, where Eligo could receive up to €185m in license fees, milestone payments as well as royalties on global sales.

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