The Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI), which focuses on focused advancing the discovery, development, and commercialization of next-generation microbial products, today announced several research collaborations whose value was not disclosed.

JHMI said it joined the Janssen Disease Interception Accelerator to launch a partnership with DayTwo and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, aimed at treating metabolic disorders through microbiome-based solutions.

Janssen said it will work with DayTwo and the Weizmann Institute on their first-in-class microbiome-based platform, designed to provide users with nutritional recommendations to control glucose response. These solutions are to be evaluated for effective interception of gestational diabetes mellitus, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome-associated disorders, JHMI said.

Separately, JHMI and the Weizmann Institute are partnering to mine human microbiome datasets for identification and validation of microbiome-based pharmaceutical therapies, applying Weizmann’s research and analytics expertise. These efforts are based on the synergistic collaboration of two Weizmann researchers, Eran Segal, Ph.D., of the computer science and applied mathematics department, and Eran Elinav, M.D., Ph.D., of the immunology department.

JHMI said it has also offered scientific support to Caelus Health (Caelus), which has become a portfolio company of Johnson & Johnson Innovation—JJDC with support from the life sciences investment firm Bioqube Ventures. Bioqube teamed up with J&J Innovation last year to launch the JLINX initiative based at the Janssen R&D Campus in Beerse, Belgium. Caelus was one of the first companies to join JLINX, which nurtures early-stage companies by providing access to resources to grow and network across the European life science ecosystem.

Caelus aims to advance the clinical development of pharmaceutical products based on insights in humans for the treatment of obesity-associated type 2 diabetes and cardiometabolic complications. Caelus received an equity investment by JJDC and will have access to capabilities at JLINX.

JHMI added that it will dedicate computational resources to Caelus to examine large, unique human datasets to inform the identification of future microbiome-based interventions. JHMI global head Dirk Gevers, Ph.D., will join Caelus’ Scientific Advisory Board.

“DayTwo's advanced prediction engine algorithm, the Weizmann Institute of Science's robust research capabilities, and Caelus's portfolio of microbiota-based products provide unique opportunities to learn more about the role that the microbiome plays in disease and health,” Anuk Das, Ph.D., JHMI’s head of scientific innovation, said in a statement.

DayTwo, the Weizmann Institute, and Caelus join JHMI's network of collaborators, which includes the Center for Microbiome Innovation at University of California, San Diego, and the lab of Jeremiah Faith, Ph.D., assistant professor of genetics and genomics science and clinical immunology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

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