Ferring Pharmaceuticals said today it will partner with the Karolinska Institutet to establish a research center that will carry out translational research on the human microbiome.

The value of the collaboration was not disclosed, though Ferring said it will fully fund the partnership, with decisions to be made by the partners through a joint steering committee.

The research center, Ferring said, will aim to develop a comprehensive mapping of the human microbiome in health and disease. The collaboration is intended to enable development of new therapies in Ferring’s specialty areas by tapping into Karolinska’s research and knowledge of the human microbiome.

Ferring focuses its drug development efforts on reproductive health, urology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, and orthopedics.

The center’s research will be led by Lars Engstrand, M.D., Ph.D., professor and senior physician at Karolinska Institutet and Director of Clinical Genomics at SciLifeLab.

“By acting together, contributing resources and skills, we will now get a great opportunity to sort out the hope from the hype in this exciting research field,” Dr. Engstrand said in a statement.

Parts of the research will be carried out at the Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab), a Swedish national center for molecular biosciences hosted by Karolinska and three other Swedish universities: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University, and Uppsala University. SciLifeLab offers access to a broad technical platform designed for studying complex microbiological communities in well-defined human material.

“There is no question that the information coming from this field will lead to innovation in life sciences through improvements in diagnosis, prevention, and therapy,” added Per Falk, M.D., Ph.D., evp and CSO at Ferring.

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