The top 4 challenges for microbiome companies

17 July 2019

Microbiome research is abundant and profoundly inspiring. Whether focusing on cancer drug response, or the more classical field of gut discomfort solutions, we are clearly on the brink of some long-anticipated breakthroughs. But despite the promise, companies in the field face challenges. This blog focuses on four of these challenges. I believe we can actively work together to ensure these will not become problematic for the industry.

Why companies are investing in the microbiome domain

Microbiome research is highly interesting. On the one hand, this is because of therapy response to orally administered drugs and, on the other, because of the impact of dysbiosis of the microbiome ‘organ’ on the host. This research might well enable us to develop prophylactic products and therapeutics that are as profitable as antibiotics but cause no side effects or are more efficacious.

Hence, since 2010 investments in the microbiome space have increased every year and now amount to EUR 1.5 Billion, according to Global Engage.

2018 saw an even more active engagement of strategic investors with microbiome start-ups. Partnership deals with Rebiotix, 4D Pharma and Microbiotica are first examples of these. This development seems to indicate that the pharmaceutical sector is beginning to believe in and understand the role of the microbiome in therapeutics.

Whereas many companies focus on IBD, metabolic disease and oncology, others carefully choose a niche to operate from, such as Parkinson’s, psoriasis and a number of rare diseases. If they succeed in establishing a position, they are looking at great business potential. But the stakes are high. Only a handful of companies will thrive.

Below are four major challenges that microbiome companies, especially start-ups, face and that are specifically related to the way we work in this science-based field. We might be able to counter these.

Read more on the page of Global Engage.

Published by Nizo

Image from Shutterstock


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