Seres Therapeutics said today it will partner with Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine to identify new microbiome therapeutic candidates for liver diseases through a sponsored research agreement whose value was not disclosed.
Nicholas F. LaRusso, M.D., a Mayo Clinic professor studying the role of the microbiome in inflammatory liver diseases, will collaborate with Seres researchers on clinical and preclinical studies to identify novel microbiome therapeutic candidates for primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). The research is also designed to provide insights into the role of the microbiome in additional liver conditions, such as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
“We are excited to collaborate with Dr. LaRusso and the Mayo Clinic team on studies that we believe will inform the design of our next-generation of Ecobiotic® therapeutic candidates for treating liver diseases of high unmet medical need,” David Cook, Ph.D., Seres evp of research and development and CSO, said in a statement.
Ecobiotic drugs are combinations of selected microbes designed to help restore the health and function of a human microbiome. The drugs are designed using Seres’ proprietary microbiome therapeutics platform, which aims to design drugs treating a variety of illnesses based on identifying and effectively treating the underlying disruptions to the human microbiome, or dysbiosis.
Seres’ lead Ecobiotic drug, SER-109, has completed a Phase Ib/II study demonstrating a clinical benefit in patients with recurring Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) and is now being assessed in a Phase II study in recurring CDI.
Mayo Clinic was among investors in the $10 million series B financing closed by Seres in June 2014, with Mayo obtaining a warrant to purchase shares of common stock. At the time, Seres disclosed that it had entered into a collaboration with the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine to define diseases for which a microbiome-based intervention may change the course of the illnesses, as well as the discovery and development of key means to treat such conditions.