Persephone Biosciences Initiates the ARGONAUT Study of Gut Microbiome-Linked Immune Modulation in Cancer Treatment Response

Company aims to apply machine learning to large datasets created by this study to identify approaches to increase patient response to existing oncology treatments as well as identify new therapeutic targets

Persephone Biosciences Inc., a biotechnology company that leverages real world data and artificial intelligence to design microbiome therapeutics and diagnostics to promote normal immune function and fight disease, today announced the initiation of the ARGONAUT clinical study to determine the impact of gut microbiome composition and function on the immune system and efficacy of cancer treatment.

ARGONAUT is a longitudinal, prospective, observational study that will enroll up to 4,000 advanced-stage cancer patients of diverse racial backgrounds to collect data for the development of precision microbiome medicines and for the identification of companion diagnostics to guide therapeutic decisions. Four types of cancers will be profiled: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), colorectal cancer (CRC) and pancreatic cancer.

“I believe this study will provide important new insights into how the microbiome can inform the treatment of patients with cancer. This work could help improve patients’ response to existing and future treatments through the use of more personalized treatment regimens,”

said Dr. Sandip Patel, MD, Associate Professor, UC San Diego Moore’s Cancer Center.

“Significant cancer health disparities currently exist, but with this nationwide study that include tumor types, like TNBC, that are more prevalent in at-risk demographics, we believe we can address these disparities and develop equitable precision medicine, thereby potentially increasing survival rates and quality of life.”

Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Persephone Biosciences, Stephanie Culler, added,

“The ARGONAUT study, the largest study ever of its kind in the U.S., will provide us with more data than ever before on the importance of gut microbiome in patients’ response to oncology treatment. With this data, Persephone Biosciences will be the partner of choice for oncology companies wishing to improve the therapeutic benefit of existing drugs, as well as develop effective new therapies targeting microbiome optimization”.

Eligible subjects will provide 2 samples each of blood and stool over a 6-month period and will be followed for up to two years.


The official title of the ARGONAUT study is: “Development and Analysis of a Blood and Stool Sample Bank for Cancer Patients, Enabling the Systematic Study of the Effect of Blood and Gut Microbiomes on Response to Treatment.” More information can be found at using the identifier NCT04638751.