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Synthetic biotics and the microbiome
02-10-2016
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Biopharmaceutical company Synlogic has announced that it is beginning a multi-year global R&D collaboration with AbbVie for the development of novel medicines for treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The collaboration will make use of Synlogic's proprietary approach to develop a new class of synthetic biotic medicines that power the microbiome. One of the goals of the deal is to combine AbbVie’s expertise in metabolic and inflammatory diseases with Synlogic’s platform to generate a novel, oral probiotic therapeutic candidate and advance it to the clinic.
 
Synthetic biotics are generated from natural probiotic bacteria engineered using Synlogic’s proprietary synthetic biology and microbiome platform to treat disease. These compounds operate from the microbiome and perform specific metabolic transformations to correct disease-causing metabolic dysregulation throughout the body. This tactic enables the shifting of a corrected and enhanced metabolic function from a disease organ to a stable, non-colonizing fraction of the microbiome.
 
“We are delighted to be working with AbbVie, an innovative leader in treating inflammation and autoimmune diseases. We envision the potential for strong synergy from the combination of AbbVie’s metabolic and inflammation expertise with our novel therapeutic approach of precision programing in the microbiome, opening new ways to create synthetic biotics to address the significant unmet needs for people with IBD,” Dr. Jose-Carlos Gutiérrez-Ramos, CEO of Synlogic, remarked in a press release. “This partnership with AbbVie is a part of our overall strategy for enabling the broad potential of our synthetic biotics platform by forging partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology leaders to pursue major disease indications affecting millions of patients, while simultaneously accelerating Synlogic’s internal pipeline in rare orphan diseases toward the clinic.”
 
Per the terms of the deal, Synlogic is responsible for the discovery, characterization and optimization of synthetic biotics-based drug candidates through an R&D program covering a limited number of effectors modulating the IBD pathophysiology. There will be a particular focus on Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. By applying Synlogic's synthetic biotics platform, the collaboration will develop a novel probiotic drug candidate designed with synthetic programmable genetic circuits that can blend with a patient’s microbiome and perform a programmed therapeutic operation involved in the IBD disease process.
 
The collaboration dictates that Synlogic and AbbVie will evaluate synthetic biotic candidates that modulate certain effectors involved in the IBD pathway and advance them through preclinical development. AbbVie will assume responsibility for regulatory filings, clinical development and worldwide marketing of any resulting products. No financial details for the agreement were released.
 
“Synlogic’s innovative approach to targeting the microbiome offers a new way to address inflammatory bowel disease,” Jim Sullivan, vice president of pharmaceutical discovery at AbbVie, commented in a statement. “AbbVie is committed to collaborating with scientific leaders with new technologies and therapeutic advances that complement AbbVie’s internal expertise and share our commitment to advancing the standard of care for patients.”
 
 
SOURCE: Synlogic press release
 
Code: E02101600

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