ARTICLE | Targets & Mechanisms

Checking out the microbiome

How academics are helping companies harness the microbiome for immuno-oncology

March 1, 2018 11:20 PM UTC

What started out as a potential use in stratifying patients is growing into a new avenue for turning non-responders to responders, as evidence continues to emerge linking the microbiome to immuno-oncology. While the data are handing microbiome companies a welcome but unanticipated path to the clinic, their progress might depend on academic deals to discover the targets and unravel the biology.

The latest data come from three Science papers in the last four months that each analyzed differences in gut microbiota among cancer patients who did or didn’t respond to treatment with checkpoint inhibitors. The studies identified distinct, non-overlapping groups of “good” bacteria prevalent in responders, and “bad” bacteria among the non responders. ...