Probiota Pioneers: “We wanted to realise a dream of preventing diabetes,” says Genbioma

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Genbioma event content

In the last of our series profiling this year’s Probiota Pioneers, NutraIngredients talks to CEO of Genbioma Josune Ayo about her experiences setting up the Spain-based company that is currently looking into a dietary supplement to address prediabetes.

In this article, Ayo delves deeper into Genbioma’s research that uses specific strains selected for their potential ability to regulate blood sugar levels in the long-term.

The hope is this solution could offer a complementary strategy to people in early stages of diabetes.

Thanks for talking to NutraIngredients Ayo. Firstly, what was the thinking and motivation behind the creation of Genbioma?

Josune Ayo
CEO of Genbioma Josune Ayo. ©JosuneAyo

Josune Ayo (JA): “It is enough to think that approximately 700 million of people are living with prediabetes and diabetes. In such a scenario, prevention is the key, especially considering that prediabetes is a reversible condition, contrary to Diabetes.

“We founded Genbioma in 2019 with the dream of preventing and reducing the risk of diabetes with an effective and natural strategy. Personally, I am very concerned about this disease and thinking about my grandfather who also suffered from diabetes.

“Our team brought all the needed competences to assure the company's success. The researcher team discovered the use of known bacterial strains to control one of the most important indications in human health, diabetes prevention, and are also validating it for other indications such as lipid metabolism, which is also of big prevalence."

Could you briefly describe some of the challenges you encountered in getting Genbioma up and running?

(JA): “There were four main challenges:

  1. Generate a multidisciplinary team and external advisory board involving great researchers and key players in the sector regarding the study of probiotics on metabolic processes and microbiota 
  2. A deep knowledge of the regulatory procedures, management and market access strategy previous experience,
  3. Security and scalability properties of this microorganisms in different conditions and facilities
  4. Road map to reach a strong IP/ trademark and a market strategy focused on the market requirements.”

As one of our pioneers, could you outline your approach or ethos in treading a path or direction that no other firm has gone before? How do you weigh up the risks and benefits here?

(JA): “A focus on the market from the scientific evidence joining strategic partners for the goal. The key is based on an External Advisory Board from scientific and sectoral environment with a clear market view to track the sector and attract new partners to open the international market.

“We wanted to create a new generation of premium probiotics with strong scientific basis. That’s why we have performed in vivo preclinical studies in both C. elegans worm and murine models with the aim of studying probiotic mechanism of action for prediabetes, as well as the impact on the organism through metagenomic and metabolomic studies.

"In addition, multicentre nutritional intervention andclinical trials in both prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are running in partnership with prestigious universities and hospitals, with a view to obtaining specific health claim authorisations.”

Our pioneers this year focus very much on the toll modern lifestyle and ageing has on human health. Do you see this becoming more of a factor considering the rise in obesity and other chronic conditions?

This year's Probiota will take place in copenhagen on 28-30 March.

(JA): “Obesity and its associated complications such as insulin resistance, prediabetes and finally type 2 diabetes are reaching epidemic levels in our societies.

“Increasing evidence indicates that alterations in the composition and metabolic functions of gut microbiota have been linked to the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Gut microbiota lifestyle.

“Therefore, the modulation of the gut microbiota using probiotics has been proposed as a therapeutic strategy to reshape gut microbiota composition and to prevent the development of obesity-related metabolic disorders such as prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

“We want to offer alternative probiotics as microbiota modulators that are safe, natural and nutritional approach for any people with prediabetes or other metabolic diseases.” 

In the probiotic, prebiotic and microbiome space, what would you say is the next research area that the industry needs to keep its eye on?

(JA): “Genbioma is not a single asset company. Of course, our focus now is diabetes prevention. However, we are developing a whole generation of probiotics, synbiotics, para- and postbiotics to fight against other metabolic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, and obesity that also affects to millions of people worldwide.”

Finally, what does confirmation that Genbioma is one of our 2022 Probiota Pioneers do for the company and its profile in such an innovative, ever changing industry?

“Why do we think our product represents an innovative approach for diabetes prevention? Easy. A short list here.

  1. There are no proven natural and safe probiotics on the market, for people in early stages of Diabetes (people with prediabetes) and help them to reverse the condition reducing the risk of being diabetics
  2. Different mechanism of action: effective on the regulation of blood sugar thanks to the impact on intestinal microbiota with specific strains.
  3. Safe Food ingredient and a cost-effective industrial scaling of the fermentation process is.
  4. Our strain collection is protected with an international patent.

We consider that Genbioma is a great opportunity as it combines a clear market need (diabetes prevention) and has a strong team with proper skills to achieve this goal.”

About Probiota

Probiota logo small

Held on 28-30 March ​in Copenhagen, Probiota aims to bridge the gaps between cutting-edge science, business strategy, and key regulatory developments in the microbiome, probiotic and prebiotic markets.

The three-day event will bring together CEOs, academics, and top researchers for networking opportunities, in addition to interactive presentations and debates in the fields of probiotics, prebiotics and the microbiome.

For more information and to register, please click HERE​​​​​​.

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