Building bacteria

How Synlogic is putting bacteria to work to treat metabolic disorders

Synlogic Inc. is engineering bacteria that purge the gut of toxic metabolites caused by rare inborn errors of metabolism including urea cycle disorders and phenylketonuria. The company expects its products will be the first to eliminate the debilitating dietary restrictions that accompany the conditions.

The platform is based on the probiotic gut bacterium Escherichia coliNissle. Synlogic engineers the bacteria to express multiple bioconversion enzymes that process a toxic metabolite into a benign or beneficial byproduct. In urea cycle disorders, the

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