Micropharma Limited, a pioneer in the development of innovative and effective products based on the human microbiome, today announced that after three years of development it has a timeline for launch of its ingestible gastrointestinal sampling technology. The company released its plans to launch the device in late 2014 commercially for research and development use and later for specific clinical applications. Micropharma has been developing the device for three years and in the last year has expedited the project by partnering with StarFish Medical a medical device development company that offers a full complement of design and manufacturing solutions. The partnership will see StarFish Medical improve and finalize the design of the autonomous multiple sample acquisition and localization technologies, design for manufacture, produce initial devices, as well as to engineer for cost effectiveness.
Micropharma’s chief scientific officer Dr. Mitchell Jones commented on the advantages of sampling the GI mucosa over the evaluation of fecal samples by saying “our ingestible pill can sample the mucosa at pre-determined locations throughout the GI tract, including the small intestine. The device is programmable, acts autonomously and can take multiple, large, discrete samples that can be evaluated for human genomic, metabolomic and human gut microbiome data; of immediate and specific interest is to improve samples for microbiome research” he commented further that “protecting the intellectual property was an important part of the commercial development process and we are pleased to have recently filed an international PCT patent application” and that “sampling the gastrointestinal tract allows for site-specific analysis of the bacterial populations and metabolites present at the mucosal surface is a distinct advantage over the evaluation of fecal samples for many applications”.
Manipulation of the gut microbiome is becoming an important way to treat immune, gastrointestinal and metabolic disease. Probiotic therapies affecting the human gut microbiome have gained regulatory approval and are now included as part of clinical guidelines for a wide range of indications. Further, there are now a number of microbiome focused companies actively developing microbiome based diagnostics, identifying uses for small molecules acting through the microbiome and developing GMO stains to affect the microbiome. The pharmaceutical, consumer health and food industries are each attracted to microbiome focused solutions to human health issues and are impressed by the opportunities brought forth by a device capable of non-invasive sampling the gut microbiome. To prove probiotic efficacy, support mechanisms of action, discover new and efficacious strains, develop new diagnostic/prognostics and ultimately to support future claims around microbiome products requires definitive information from relatively inaccessible sites within the human GI tract. This information will open the door to personalized medicine, where diagnostic analysis of the microbiome will provide invaluable information on the likelihood of responses to probiotic and drugs.
The development of Micropharma’s ingestible GI sampling device helps position the company as a world leader in human microbiome research and product development. This enabling technology provides a distinct advantage through the acquisition and analysis of samples previously inaccessible, provide additional survival and mechanistic data to support the development of probiotic products and generate near-term revenue for the company through sales of research and commercial devices and out-licensing of specific aspects to other GI medical device companies.
About Micropharma Limited
Micropharma is a Canadian biotechnology company focused on human health through the microbiome. The company applies a unique approach, ProSelect, to the discovery and commercialization of novel products based on the human microbiome for the diagnosis and treatment of metabolic diseases. Micropharma works on disease specific products with clear microbiome related mechanisms, and links to biomarkers that are associated with improving human health. Micropharma is developing diagnostics and oral biologic therapies in the area of metabolic disease including hypercholesterolemia, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes. For more info go to www.micropharma.net.