Persephone Biosciences Inc., a biotechnology company that designs microbiome therapeutics and diagnostics to promote normal immune function in order to prevent and fight disease, today announced that it is developing an immune-boosting microbiome therapeutic to help prevent and fight the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) as well as a potential stool-based diagnostic designed to help predict which patients are of at highest risk for developing severe complications and mortality from COVID-19.
Persephone’s microbiome therapeutic against the novel coronavirus is envisioned to be used to prevent infection, taken at the onset of symptoms or with a vaccine or antiviral drug to mount an effective immune response with long-lasting immunity and boost the immune system of those exposed to the virus as is the case with first responders. This may promote rapid elimination of the virus, preventing the life-threatening symptoms that occur with extreme COVID-19 cases.
Unlike vaccines or other current approaches that may become ineffective as the coronavirus mutates, Persephone’s microbiome therapeutic will be developed as a general enhancer of the immune system and may be used for other viral applications including the seasonal flu and of most concern, future pandemics.
Persephone takes a unique approach at understanding how the gut microbiome impacts the human immune system with its proprietary Decode.Design.Cure® technology platform. It collects and analyzes gut microbiome (stool) samples from thousands of patients through its nationwide Poop For The Cure® campaign and applies a combination of artificial intelligence and next-generation genome sequencing technologies to develop novel microbiome therapeutics and diagnostics.
“Recent reports from China suggest that COVID-19 is strongly linked to the gastrointestinal tract and that there is some correlation between severe patient response to the disease and imbalanced or damaged gut microbiomes,”
said Stephanie Culler, CEO and co-founder of Persephone Biosciences.
“We noted these findings because our research is centered around the microbiome, making our therapeutic discovery platform immediately relevant in the fight against SARS-CoV-2.”
Lead candidates from Persephone’s coronavirus development program are expected to enter clinical trials later this year as either monotherapy or in combination with other treatments, subject to obtaining required FDA approvals.
“We believe our antiviral microbiome therapeutics have the potential to save thousands of lives by enabling robust immune responses to fight COVID-19 infection, help vaccines to have long-lasting immunity and help with future pandemics,” continued Culler. “Long term, we see the possibility for similar microbiome-focused therapeutics to treat multiple strains of influenza in addition to other respiratory viral infections which impact millions worldwide on a seasonal basis.”
Persephone Biosciences asks parties interested in partnering on pre-clinical development or clinical trials to contact the company.
About DECODE.DESIGN.CURE® Technology Platform
Persephone Biosciences designs therapeutics to promote normal immune function in order to prevent and fight disease. Persephone’s population-scale patient data platform aligns well to suggest their DECODE.DESIGN.CURE® technology platform, which rapidly develops microbiome therapeutics, could be successfully used to produce therapeutics to fight Coronavirus.