ARTICLE | Product R&D

Microbiome at the checkpoint

CTLA-4 and PD-L1 blockade depends on specific commensal bacteria

December 3, 2015 8:00 AM UTC

The growing belief that the microbiome can be harnessed to treat cancer has arguably received its biggest boost to date with the publication of two papers in Science linking two of the hottest targets in cancer immunotherapy, CTLA-4 and PD-L1, with specific commensal bacteria. And in a sign of increasing commercial interest in the microbiome, the findings have caught the attention of Enterome Bioscience S.A. and newly-formed Evelo Therapeutics Inc., who announced partnerships with the respective academic groups behind the studies within a week of each other.

The microbiome has already gained acceptance in the mainstream as a player in gastrointestinal (GI) disease and an increasing body of evidence has linked it to other diseases, including autoimmunity, obesity and heart disease...