While most companies developing bugs as drugs want their microbes to flourish in hosts, Evelo is designing microbial candidates that exert therapeutic effects without colonizing, replicating or metabolizing -- acting more like biologics than live cells. This quarter, the biotech will get its first clinical readouts indicating whether its therapies can tune T cell activity in skin and other tissues by interacting with immune cells in the gut.
Evelo Biosciences Inc.’s strategy rests on its ability to identify and manufacture individual strains of bacteria that induce therapeutic effects via structural interactions with gut immune cells.
The products’ long-distance effects on other tissues come by virtue of the lymphatic system, a growing area of focus within the brain-immune-gut axis of drug development (see “Puretech’s Lymphatic Leap”).
Evelo’s approach is a departure from most microbiome companies using bugs as drugs,