ENTEROME SA and Nestle Health Science have unveiled a joint creation of Microbiome Diagnostics Partners (MDP). This company will bring together complementary, world-leading platforms and capabilities enabling the discovery and development of innovative diagnostics through to commercialization in multiple diseases areas, including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and liver diseases.

MDP will be a 50/50 joint venture between Enterome and Nestle Health Science. Enterome will contribute its current microbiome diagnostic programs and intellectual property (IP) derived from its unique microbiome-based platform for the development of diagnostics in all therapeutic areas except immuno-oncology. Prometheus Laboratories (a Nestle Health Science Company) will contribute its diagnostics development and commercialization expertise.

Nestle Health Science will invest 20 million in return for its 50% stake in MDP and exclusive commercialization options on the initial programs. In addition to this investment, MDP will receive further milestone payments linked to the success of clinical and commercial activities. MDP will be governed by a Board, with Pierre Belichard, CEO of Enterome becoming Chairman. Warren Cresswell, General Manager and Head of Prometheus Diagnostics, will become a Board member of MDP and assume the role of MDP CEO.

Initially, MDP will focus on developing diagnostics for the assessment and management of IBD based on Enterome's IBD110 microbiome-derived mucosal healing biomarker and on the development of diagnostic products for progressive liver diseases [non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, (NAFLD), including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)] based on Enterome's MET210 biomarker. Prometheus will provide its serum-based biomarkers to both development programs.

The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in building up an individual's natural immunity and maintaining good health. The recent progress in metagenomic science has propelled awareness from the medical community on this underestimated human organ to a point that is making the study of the gut microbiome a health priority in most westernized countries and a major opportunity to create a new generation of drugs and diagnostics.

The ability to understand mechanisms of disease processes associated...

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