Aims to augment current cancer therapies by altering patients’ gut microbiome to improve response
Rehovot, Israel – April 16, 2019 – Biomica, an emerging biopharmaceutical company developing innovative microbiome-based therapeutics, and a subsidiary of Evogene Ltd. (NASDAQ, TASE: EVGN), announced today the initiation of pre-clinical studies for BMC-121 & BMC-127, two rationally-designed microbial consortia, in its therapeutic immuno-oncology program. The program aims to improve current cancer therapies by modulating patients’ response to immune checkpoint blockade across various cancer types through alterations of the patients’ gut microbiome.
Recent evidence supports the role of the microbiome in response to cancer therapy, and specifically demonstrates the effect of the intestinal microbiome on the response to immune checkpoint inhibitors including protein/ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1). This suggests that identification and administration of selected intestinal microbiome elements may provide novel and effective means to improve anti-cancer immunotherapies.
Biomica leverages Evogene’s computational predictive biology (CPB) platform and related technologies to analyze functional elements of the gut microbiome in high-resolution. Applying these analyses to relevant data of patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) and Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC), Biomica identified key microbial functions related to the response to immune-checkpoint inhibitors. Through this, Biomica gained mechanistic understanding of the relationships of specific microbes with various human cellular processes believed to play pivotal roles in cancer and immune function. Biomica’s unique approach focusing on the functional capabilities of the microbiome has resulted in the identification and development of two rationally-designed consortia, BMC-121 & BMC-127. Biomica’s first drug candidates are designed to add a selective set of missing microbial functions in order to improve patients’ response to immunotherapy.
Prof. Yehuda Ringel, Biomica CSO, stated: “This entry into pre-clinical studies is an important milestone in the life of Biomica, a company formed less than two years ago. With our strong database and Evogene’s unique computational capabilities we are now turning our computational predictions to actual pre-clinical studies, and we believe BMC121 and BMC127 will be the beginning of a broad and promising microbiome-based therapeutics pipeline.”
Dr. Elran Haber, Biomica CEO, stated: “We are excited by our first drug candidates’ entry into pre-clinical studies, advancing the company from in-silico to in-vivo stage. We believe our candidate consortia designed to enhance anti-tumor immune response provide great potential for augmenting patients’ response to immunotherapy. Our rapid advancement to pre-clinical trials was made possible by the unique predictive computational platform. We look forward to providing initial results later this year.”
About BMC-121 & BMC-127
Developed as Live Bacterial Products (LBPs), BMC-121 & BMC-127 are rationally-designed LBP consortia comprised of unique microbes that harbor specific functional capabilities with the potential to enhance immunologic therapeutic responses and facilitate anti-tumor immune activity though multiple biological processes.
Rationally-designed consortia are multi-strain products designed to restore diversity and specific functionality to a microbial community with individually selected, cultured bacteria.
Biomica is an emerging biopharmaceutical company developing innovative microbiome-based therapeutics utilizing a dedicated Computational Predictive Biology platform (CPB). Biomica aims to identify and characterize disease-related microbiome entities, and to develop novel therapeutics based on these understandings. The company is focused on the development of therapies for antibiotic resistant bacteria, immuno-oncology, and microbiome-related gastrointestinal (GI) disorders.
Biomica is a subsidiary of Evogene Ltd. (NASDAQ, TASE: EVGN). For more information, please visit www.biomicamed.com
About Evogene Ltd.:
Evogene (NASDAQ, TASE: EVGN) is a leading biotechnology company developing novel products for major life science markets through the use of a unique computational predictive biology (CPB) platform incorporating deep scientific understandings and cutting-edge computational technologies. Today, this platform is utilized by the Company and its subsidiaries to discover and develop innovative products in the following areas: ag-chemicals, ag-biologicals, seed traits, integrated castor oil ag-solutions, medical cannabis and human microbiome-based therapeutics. Each subsidiary or division establishes its product pipeline and go-to-market, as demonstrated in its collaborations with world-leading companies such as BASF, Corteva, Bayer and ICL. For more information, please visit www.evogene.com
Forward Looking Statements
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