Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Rebiotix Inc., a Ferring Company, and MyBiotics Pharma Ltd. today announced a multi-year strategic collaboration to develop live microbiota-based biotherapeutics to address bacterial vaginosis, a common vaginal infection among women of reproductive age linked to increased risk of miscarriage and complications for pregnancy and fertility.1,2,3 The collaboration is an important step forward in harnessing the power of the human microbiome in this area of women’s health.
Currently bacterial vaginosis is treated with antibiotics, which can disrupt the vaginal microbiome, and it’s common for bacterial vaginosis to return following treatment.4 The aim of a microbiota-based treatment would be to reduce the need for antibiotic use and provide a long-term treatment solution.
The multi-year agreement combines MyBiotics’ unique culturing, delivery and colonisation technologies aimed at restoring microbiome equilibrium with Rebiotix’s expertise in developing clinical-stage live microbiota-based biotherapeutic products and Ferring’s therapeutic development and commercial expertise. The new agreement builds on the existing collaboration between Ferring and MyBiotics, initiated in 2017, which has already successfully piloted technologies intended to stabilise selected bacterial species critical to the health of the female reproductive tract using MyBiotics’ MyCrobe technology.
“We are proud to be undertaking this collaboration, as it is a critical step forward in meeting patient needs through the potential of the microbiome,”
said Ken Blount, Chief Scientific Officer, Rebiotix and Vice President of Microbiome Research, Ferring Pharmaceuticals.
“This collaboration with MyBiotics not only harnesses our collective expertise in developing live microbiota-based biotherapeutic technologies, but also reaffirms Ferring’s deep commitment to building families worldwide through innovations in reproductive medicine and maternal health.”
The collaboration announced today also stands to add several firsts to Ferring’s microbiome product pipeline, including the company’s first non-donor derived formulation, and a live microbiota-based product specific to reproductive medicine.
“Today’s agreement is an important evolution of our long-standing relationship with Ferring in the field of microbiota-based therapies for the benefit of women’s health, including reproduction and pregnancy,”
said MyBiotics’ CEO, David Daboush.
“We look forward to combining our innovative MyCrobe live bacteria culturing, delivery and colonisation technology with the world-leading development experience of Rebiotix for the benefit of women. The collaboration with Rebiotix builds on our successful collaboration with Ferring, and we are excited to build on that strong relationship targeted to bringing novel treatments to patients through our tailor-made microbiome technology platform.”
MyBiotics has developed breakthrough and robust culturing, fermentation and delivery technologies for generating a highly stable and diverse bacterial community that can be efficiently delivered to different sites across the human body for restoring microbiome equilibrium. These technologies are effective for single microbes, complex microbial consortia and whole microbiome products, and are integrated with a computational AI platform, which enables the design of unique microbial consortia and whole microbiome profiles. The technologies are highly potent and suitable for patients with microbiome-related medical conditions.
The potential of live microbiota-based biotherapeutic products is an expanding frontier. The most clinically advanced formulations, derived from the human gut microbiome, are currently being developed to address Clostridioides difficile (C.diff) infection and have opened the door to harnessing the power of the microbiome to address other unmet medical needs. As the future of microbiome-based therapeutics expands, the potential extends beyond the gut to reproductive medicine. The ability to generate standardised, stabilised, approved formulations, created to serve patient needs in reproductive medicine and maternal health, connects to the core vision of both companies.
About Ferring Pharmaceuticals
Ferring Pharmaceuticals is a research-driven, specialty biopharmaceutical group committed to helping people around the world build families and live better lives. Headquartered in Saint-Prex, Switzerland, Ferring is a leader in reproductive medicine and women’s health, and in specialty areas within gastroenterology and urology. Ferring has been developing treatments for mothers and babies for over 50 years and has a portfolio covering treatments from conception to birth. Founded in 1950, privately-owned Ferring now employs approximately 6,500 people worldwide, has its own operating subsidiaries in nearly 60 countries and markets its products in 110 countries.
Rebiotix Inc, a Ferring Company, is a late-stage clinical microbiome company focused on harnessing the power of the human microbiome to revolutionise the treatment of challenging diseases. Rebiotix brings a diverse pipeline of investigational drug products to Ferring’s portfolio built on its pioneering microbiota-based MRT™ drug platform. The platform consists of investigational drug technologies designed to potentially rehabilitate the human microbiome by delivering a broad consortium of live microbes into a patient’s intestinal tract. For more information on Rebiotix and its pipeline of human microbiome-directed therapies for diverse disease states.
MyBiotics discovers and develops microbiome-based products aimed at restoring microbiome equilibrium for the therapeutics and food markets. MyBiotics’ technologies are effective for single microbes, complex microbial consortia and whole microbiome products, and are integrated with a computational AI platform which enables the design of unique microbial consortia and whole microbiome profiles. The company’s pipeline includes products targeted at infectious diseases, woman’s health, gastro and oncology indications, as well as probiotics and prebiotic programs.
1 Peebles K, Velloza J, Balkus JE, McClelland RS, Barnabas RV. High Global Burden and Costs of Bacterial Vaginosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis [Internet]. Sexually transmitted diseases. U.S. National Library of Medicine; [cited 2021 Feb 2]. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30624309/
2 Giakoumelou S et al. The role of infection in miscarriage. Human Reproduction Update 2016;22:116–133. doi.org/10.1093/humupd/dmv041. Last accessed February 2021
3 Bacterial vaginosis and pregnancy. March of Dimes. Available at: https://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/bacterial-vaginosis.aspx. Last accessed February 2021
4 Wilson J. Managing recurrent bacterial vaginosis. Sex Transm Infect 2004;80:8–11. doi:10.1136/sti.2002.002733. Last accessed February 2021