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Second Genome Announces Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research Alliance with the APC

– industry & academic teams to Develop Microbiome-based Therapies for Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease


Second Genome, Inc., a leader in the development of novel medicines through innovative microbiome science, has entered into an alliance with the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) Microbiome Institute at University College Cork (UCC), Ireland, to advance the development of therapies that prevent and treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Scientists from both groups will partner to explore the role of the microbiome in IBD by analyzing data from patients to identify new opportunities for therapeutic intervention.

The focus of the research will be to identify bacterial species and mechanisms that are driving IBD biology. This alliance between academia and industry allows both groups to benefit from the other’s expertise and facilitate a two-way exchange of ideas. Second Genome has assembled a one-of-a-kind drug discovery platform that integrates microbiome and host biology for the identification of novel targets and drugs, and the APC Microbiome Institute has deep clinical, microbiome and bacterial culturing expertise.

“Partnering with the APC Microbiome Institute at UCC unites their clinical and microbiome expertise with our ability to effectively translate microbiome science into novel therapies,” said Peter DiLaura, Second Genome’s CEO. “Second Genome has made a commitment to understand the mechanisms that drive IBD disease biology, and this alliance further advances our efforts to improve treatment options for patients.”

The APC is a partnership between UCC and Teagasc, the agriculture and food development authority in Ireland, with more than 170 scientists and clinicians working on the human microbiome.  This vast collection of microbes living in and on the human body plays an important role in the health of the human host, and microbiome research is recognized as one of the most important emerging fields in biomedical research.  The APC Microbiome Institute, which was formed more than a decade ago, is supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and by funding from national and global partner companies.

“The APC has had a long history in understanding how the microbiome influences human health, and finding novel ways to treat chronic illnesses such as IBD, ” said Fergus Shanahan, M.D., Director of the APC Microbiome Institute and Professor of Medicine at UCC. “Second Genome is a leader in the development of innovative therapies using microbiome science. This collaboration will allow our teams to collaborate to bring new treatment approaches for patients suffering from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.”

Photo (left to right):

Prof Fergus Shanahan, Director APC Microbiome Institute, Dr Marcus Claesson, Project Leader & Principal Investigator, APC Microbiome Institute and Peter DiLaura, CEO, Second Genome Inc.

27 April 2015