Floré, the first consumer offering from California-based Sun Genomics which claims to offer the world’s only fully customised precision probiotic, has announced its partnership with Royal DSM's health, nutrition and bioscience investment firm DSM Venturing.
The companies matched during the recent MassChallenge Switzerland Sustainable Food Solutions Challenge after realising their shared commitment to the science behind probiotics and their role in improving the health and wellness of the global population.
Founded in 2016, Floré uses patented whole-genome DNA sequencing and gut composition analysis to formulate personalised probiotics to an individual’s unique gut microflora within just a couple of weeks of stool sampling.
Floré claims to have built the world's largest longitudinal whole genome microbiome dataset with more than 23,000 organisms, including bacteria, parasites, yeast, viruses, phages and fungi. As well as sending personalised probiotics to the customer's door, it also provides personalised diet and recipe recommendations and access to a 'scientific liason' to provide the consumer with extra knowledge and understanding.
Gut health and personalised nutrition are key focus areas for DSM and it backs startups in this area. Together, the partners will collaborate on research, with DSM’s using Floré’s algorithms to gain insight into novel ingredients and DSM helping Floré to source high-quality ingredients for its products, and take advantage of DSM’s knowledge base and business network.
Jill Porter, global director for gut health, at DSM, tells NutraIngredients: "We know that more consumers are exploring the wider benefits of a healthy gut microbiome. In fact, 72% of consumers associate good digestion with overall health. This growing appetite for more holistic solutions has challenged us to rethink our approach to gut health.
"DSM’s partnership with Floré will enhance our offering in this space by uncovering new ways to connect with consumers seeking more personalized solutions. Probiotics are a hero ingredient in the gut health market, and partnering with Floré helps us to expand our capabilities and expert services to deliver more value to customers."
In the coming year, DSM will launch Health from the Gut (HfG), a redefined health benefit platform for its dietary supplement customers.
"The new platform will lead the way with an innovative range of purpose-led and personalized solutions that enhance gut health to support immunity, digestion, brain health, stress management, metabolic health and more," adds Porter.
"This pioneering platform will leverage DSM’s full capabilities across not only high-quality products such as probiotics, but with premix and market-ready solutions that can be personalized for a range of consumer groups to fast-track our customers’ innovations."
In December 2021, Floré announced a partnership with The Swiss Integrative Center for Human Health to expand the product offerings to the EU by creating an international office in Fribourg, Switzerland. This partnership with DSM will further enable the ready state within European markets.
Sunny Jain, chief executive officer and founder of Floré adds: “We are proud to partner with DSM to expand our research and product efforts and help bring precision nutrition to all,” said . “By utilizing DSM’s resources and expertise in the biotech space, we are grateful to receive the support required to grow our customer base and maintain our position as a leader in precision probiotics and nutrition.”
Last year, Floré launched three new clinical tests for inflammation, gastrointestinal pathogens and heavy metal to help a broader population identify and address a variety of gut health issues.
“Investors are increasingly placing their bets on the disruptive potential of custom probiotics, and we knew a strategic partnership with Floré would be mutually beneficial,” said Pieter Wolters, managing director of DSM Venturing. “This is where Floré has an advantage, as it’s taking the guesswork out of the most challenging step for many consumers: choosing the right probiotic.”
About Sun Genomics
Sun Genomics specialises in made-to-order probiotics based on an individual’s gut microflora. Using a patented methodology based on the extraction of DNA from stool samples, this approach ensures that customers receive a fully personalized probiotic that can be received as a monthly subscription.
In a previous NutraCast interview with Danielle Masterson at NutraIngredients-USA, Jain explained that analysis of stool samples can inform about a whole range of health parameters including energy availability, which would be of particular interested to athletes, and chronic diseases like IBS or IBD, which effect many consumers today.
He added that the company's database and service was evolving with every month, thanks to the community-based gathering of microbiome information which enhances the company's insights.
Looking to the future, Jain predicts that within the next few years microbiome sequencing should become a "standard of care".
"Every child born will be receiving a microbiome analysis and these will probably be staged, so every few weeks or month you will receive a microbiome analysis.
"That will be really important in understanding where your microbiome is fated. They say the first 1,000 days of life are the most critical to your microbiome maturing and that's sort of where it gets locked in and it becomes harder to change and modulate. That's where I believe things are really going to pick up in the next five years."
DSM Venturing portfolio
Since 2001, DSM has invested in more than 100 startups that are working to tackle the world’s toughest challenges. As the venture capital arm of DSM, a global science-based and purpose-led company, DSM Venturing connects founders to funding, expertise and technology to help them succeed. It supports inventors and entrepreneurs with everything from ideation to operating a sustainable business.