Enterome, a pioneer of innovative therapies for microbiome-related diseases, and Nestlé Health Science, announce the joint creation of Microbiome Diagnostics Partners (MDP). This company will bring together complementary, world-leading platforms and capabilities enabling the discovery and development of innovative diagnostics through to commercialization in multiple diseases areas, including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and liver diseases.
MDP will be a 50/50 joint venture between Enterome and Nestlé Health Science. Enterome will contribute its current microbiome diagnostic programs and intellectual property (IP) derived from its unique microbiome-based platform for the development of diagnostics in all therapeutic areas except immuno-oncology. Prometheus Laboratories (a Nestlé Health Science Company) will contribute its diagnostics development and commercialization expertise.
Nestlé Health Science will invest €20 million in return for its 50% stake in MDP and exclusive commercialization options on the initial programs. In addition to this investment, MDP will receive further milestone payments linked to the success of clinical and commercial activities. MDP will be governed by a Board, with Pierre Belichard, CEO of Enterome becoming Chairman. Warren Cresswell, General Manager and Head of Prometheus Diagnostics, will become a Board member of MDP and assume the role of MDP CEO.
Initially, MDP will focus on developing diagnostics for the assessment and management of IBD based on Enterome's IBD110 microbiome-derived mucosal healing biomarker and on the development of diagnostic products for progressive liver diseases [non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, (NAFLD), including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)] based on Enterome's MET210 biomarker. Prometheus will provide its serum-based biomarkers to both development programs.
The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in building up an individual's natural immunity and maintaining good health. The recent progress in metagenomic science has propelled awareness from the medical community on this underestimated human organ to a point that is making the study of the gut microbiome a health priority in most westernized countries and a major opportunity to create a new generation of drugs and diagnostics.
The ability to understand mechanisms of disease processes associated with dysfunction of the microbiome is central to Enterome's discovery platform. By gaining deep knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that govern the dynamic interplay between microbial communities and host system, Enterome can unlock meaningful insights into the pathogenesis of disease, enabling rational strategies for therapeutic and diagnostic interventions.
Pierre Belichard, CEO of Enterome, commented: "The formation of Microbiome Diagnostics Partners is an important milestone for Enterome, as it brings together powerful and complementary technologies and capabilities to enable the creation of a new generation of diagnostic and companion diagnostic products. The MDP joint venture will leverage Enterome's microbiome-based platforms in diagnostic areas, while Enterome will continue to focus on their application for the discovery of novel small molecule therapeutics."
Greg Behar, CEO of Nestlé Health Science, said: "MDP is equipped to lead diagnostic discovery in the microbiome field, opening the door to innovative therapeutic approaches combining diagnostics (Dx), nutritional therapies (Nx) and therapeutics (Rx). Mastering the microbiome is an important facet of our strategy to advance the therapeutic role of nutrition and we see also new opportunities being created for personalized nutrition both for the healthy population and for patients. The two initial programs have great potential to become differentiated diagnostics."