Biomica Ltd., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing microbiome-based therapies, has released interim positive results from a pre-clinical study in its irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) program.
The work was done in collaboration with the lab of Kara Gross Margolis, associate director of clinical and translational research for the New York University Center for Pain Research and associate professor in the Department of Molecular Pathobiology at NYU College of Dentistry and the Department of Pediatrics at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. In the study, Biomica tested two candidate therapeutic consortia of live bacterial strains, BMC426 and BMC427. Treatment with this drug candidate effectively reduces visceral pain, a major symptom of IBS.
IBS is a chronic digestive system disorder that is estimated to affect 4.1% of the world’s population. Individuals affected by IBS suffer from abdominal pain, bloating and abnormal bowel movements that often affect their daily functioning and quality of life. Current standard therapy for IBS is limited, especially with regard to IBS-associated abdominal pain. Studies have demonstrated a link between changes in the gut microbiome and IBS, suggesting the involvement of the microbiome in developing IBS symptoms.
BMC426 and BMC427 were designed based on their functional capabilities, leveraging data collected from IBS patients through research conducted at Chapel Hill University of North Carolina (UNC) by Yehuda Ringel, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Biomica. Data is analyzed in silico using Biomica’s PRISM system, a proprietary computing platform powered by Evogene’s AItech MicroBoost engine. Various functional capabilities of BMC426 and BMC427 have been successfully validated in relevant in-vitro models.
Biomics study design and preliminary results
Biomica, a subsidiary of Evogene Ltd., revealed that animals treated with BMC426 or BMC427 showed significantly lower levels of visceral sensitivity compared to the placebo-treated group. The study design and initial results will be presented in an oral presentation at the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility (ESNM) NeuroGASTRO conference in September 2023.
These results lay the foundation for Biomica’s advancement in IBS therapy development programs. In the coming year, Biomica plans to explore additional parameters related to pain reduction and alleviation of other IBS symptoms, based on these pre-clinical findings.
Gross Margolis said: “The results of this study are very exciting because they are the first to show that BMC426 or BMC427 can help in the treatment of visceral pain in IBS and other digestive disorders, which are very common with little effective therapy.”
Ringel said: “We express our sincere thanks to Prof. Kara Gross Margolis and her team at NYU, for their involvement has been instrumental in the promising results achieved in this in-vivo pre-clinical study. Leveraging our innovative computational approach, which leverages big data and high-resolution microbiome analysis to identify the optimal microbe for our products, we are poised to introduce promising microbiome-targeted therapies for this chronic and debilitating condition. We are looking forward to sharing further updates on the progress of this program as we continue our journey forward.
Last year, the company raised $20 million to advance a line of microbiome-based therapies.