- by sedlv
- January 16, 2018
You’ve probably heard of the microbiome – in the context of human health. Currently, there’s a big focus on the microbiome. These are the microbes that live amongst us, and they exist in the trillions – a consortium of microorganisms,1 if you will. But don’t be alarmed – they live with us, not to harm, but simply to share our space. In certain circumstances, they can harm us, but usually, they’re either benign or actually helpful.
Microbiota vs. Microbiome
These microbes are everywhere, more accurately, the microbiota is everywhere – the microbiota includes the following organisms living in a specific environmental niche:
99% of microorganisms in the microbiome could potentially hold powerful and impactful remedies for humanity.
They’re in your kitchen sink, in your water filter pitcher, on and inside your body, in and around your pets, your carpets, and even your computer.
These microbial cells and their genetic material are known as the microbiome (a combination of the words microbe and genome). Although the terms microbiota and microbiome are often used interchangeably, the term microbiome has special meaning because of its specific inclusion of the genome.
One of the largest microbiomes exists in our aquatic environments. It’s no surprise that our oceans, lakes, ponds, rivers, and even glaciers are teeming with microbial life. What’s remarkable is the fascinating chemistry driven by the unique genomes in these niche environments – chemistry that can help humanity through drug discovery and therapeutics.
Microbes are responsible for about half of the pharmaceuticals on the market today.2 Chances are that you or someone you know has been treated by a drug that has its origins in a microorganism. These therapeutics have come from microbes cultured in a laboratory and then harvested for their beneficial by-products. And this progress has come from only 1% of available microbes.
For various reasons, many microbes are unable to survive and multiply in a laboratory environment, so only about 1% of microbes are culturable. This means that 99% of microorganisms in the microbiome could potentially hold powerful and impactful remedies for humanity.
Biosortia’s Unique Selling Proposition
This untapped field of microbiome therapeutics represents a new frontier in medicine because previously unculturable microbes are now accessible. The leaders at Biosortia Pharmaceuticals understand the potential of the microbiome therapeutics market. The real power of Biosortia’s proprietary technology is that it sorts microbes instead of culturing them. Biosortia means ‘life sorted’. The aquatic microbiome lives in its native environment surrounded by its natural resources and performs its innate chemistry to create vital metabolites (metabolites are by-products of the natural chemical processes that occur within microorganisms). These metabolites are potentially therapeutic for humans.
Biosortia’s technology eliminates the practical challenge of laboratory culturing in an artificial environment. The microbiome is able to live and interact with its surrounding ecosystem of the microbiota to generate intrinsic metabolites. Thus, Biosortia’s system allows the aquatic microbiome to be harvested in bulk, mined, and screened. The technology is essentially the process of sorting out therapeutically viable microorganisms and screening them for bioactive metabolites.
The aquatic microbiome lives in its native environment surrounded by its natural resources and performs its innate chemistry to create vital metabolites.
Sorting Life and Creating a Pipeline
With such a massive microbiome to screen, there are literally millions of microbiome-derived therapeutics. To bring focus to the screens, we are first concentrating on the immuno-oncology and immunology therapeutic areas (Figure 1). In our next blog entry, we’ll discuss the exciting pre-clinical portfolio of microbiome-derived immuno-modulating peptides for discovering, expanding, and advancing a valuable IO/I pipeline.