Seres Therapeutics has announced research collaborations with the Research Institute of St. Joseph’s Hamilton and the Medical University of Graz to support its ongoing development of novel microbiome-based therapies for inflammatory bowel disease.
“While we believe repetitive fecal transplantation is not a viable long-term clinical solution for patients suffering from IBD, [fecal microbiota transplant] studies have provided compelling evidence that modification of the microbiome can lead to meaningfully improved clinical outcomes,” David Cook, PhD, executive vice president of R&D and chief scientific officer of Seres, said in a press release. “Seres is pleased to be collaborating with some of the leading academic research groups in this important work. We are well positioned to learn from these studies, which we expect will provide important insights into the design of SER-301.”
SER-301 (Seres) is a preclinical stage candidate composed of bacterial species cultured in vitro, according to the press release. The company will also collaborate with the academic groups on the development of SER-287, a biologically sourced candidate being evaluated in an ongoing phase 1b study in mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis.
“SER-287 is the first microbiome therapeutic candidate to reach clinical-stage development in a chronic disease, and the first in an indication outside of infectious disease,” according to the press release.
Investigators at the Research Institute of St. Joseph’s Hamilton and the Medical University of Graz are among the academic groups who have previously reported that repeated FMT induced clinical remission in some patients with ulcerative colitis, which suggest the microbiome may have a causal role in the disease.
Under the collaboration agreement, Seres will obtain donor and patient samples from clinical studies of FMT, and will perform metagenomics and other analyses on them to improve the characterization of microbiome signatures associated with clinical response, according to the press release.
Disclosure: Cook is employed by Seres.