BiomX Inc. (NYSE American: PHGE), a clinical stage company developing natural and engineered phage therapies that target specific pathogenic bacteria, today announced that it has entered into a collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim to utilize the BiomX XMarker microbiome-based biomarker discovery platform to potentially identify biomarkers associated with patient phenotypes in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). As part of the collaboration, BiomX will generate metagenomic data of gut microbiome samples obtained from IBD patients with the aim of identifying biomarkers using the XMarker platform.
“Our XMarker analysis platform is a unique, efficient and ultra-high resolution tool for identifying patterns in bacterial DNA relevant for target and biomarker discovery,”
commented Jonathan Solomon, Chief Executive Officer of BiomX.
“Recent successes in the field of microbiome-targeted clinical development have further demonstrated the importance of the microbiome for human health. The XMarker platform has supported our internally developed phage therapy for IBD, BX002, through the analysis of real-world metagenomic patient data. Beyond IBD, the XMarker platform has applications in major disease areas such as liver disease and cancer where microbiome composition is increasingly recognized as a potential contributing factor.”
The terms of the collaboration also include an option for Boehringer Ingelheim to negotiate an exclusive right to biomarkers discovered utilizing the XMarker platform. Independently of the collaboration, BiomX continues to advance the wholly-owned phage therapy candidate BX002 for the treatment of IBD with a Phase 1a study expected to begin in the third quarter of 2020.
About the XMarker Discovery Platform
The microbiome has shown promise as a predictive tool for the existence and staging of disease in IBD, liver disease, colorectal cancer and cardiovascular disease, among others. In recent studies it has also demonstrated the potential to predict response to specific therapeutics in IBD and immuno-oncology. The XMarker platform uses a unique metagenomics-based approach to discover predictive microbial genomic signatures to be further developed into biomarkers. The platform combines ultra-high-resolution DNA analysis, AI techniques and high-scale cloud computing resources to build classifiers of high sensitivity and specificity.