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Microbiome venture: DuPont and BioMe Oxford to co-develop smart capsule to sample gut microbiota

DuPont’s initiative for the development of new microbiome science-based solutions, Microbiome Venture, has entered into a strategic investment and partnership with BioMe Oxford Ltd. Based in Oxford, UK, start-up BioMe Oxford is developing BioCapture, a smart, orally delivered capsule that can sample gut microbiota in both humans and animals.

DuPont will partner with BioMe Oxford and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) to further the development of BioCapture. This technology will allow unique insights into the impact that live microbes and other microbiome modulators have on the gut microbiota in various sections of the gastrointestinal tract.

“When ready, BioCapture will allow us to deepen our understanding of the impact our probiotics and other ingredients have on the microbiome in parts of the GI tract that are very difficult to access today, other than through endoscopy procedures. Additionally, we will be able to support our customers and academic partners in accelerating insights gathered into the microbiome and how it can be modulated to improve health,” says DuPont Microbiome Venture Leader Sebastien Guery.

“The existing methods for gut sampling are either expensive and invasive (e.g., colonoscopy) or inaccurate and incompatible with targeted sampling (e.g., fecal swabs) – the key challenge has been developing a robust solution to address this trade-off by enabling cost-effective sampling of targeted sites in a minimally invasive manner,” Guery tells NutritionInsight.

“It allows sampling in parts of the intestine that are not easily accessible today through more conventional means. This will give us unique insights on how diet and probiotic intervention modulate the microbial composition in these areas thus accelerating innovation in the space.”

With its highly skilled team and its partnership with the world-class AMRC in Sheffield, BioMe Oxford is developing a simple, robust and innovative way to sample the gut microbiota in both humans and animals that will provide new insights on how diets, ingredients and probiotics influence the gut microbiota.

“The microbial community inhabiting our gut is known to vary significantly in terms of abundance, composition and function between different segments. Targeted and minimally invasive sampling using BioCapture has the potential to open up new areas of microbiome research by enabling routine access to previously uncharted territories. DuPont is a global leader in the nutrition and microbiome field, and we are excited to be working with their team of expert scientists to accelerate the development of BioCapture,” says BioMe Oxford Co-Founder and CEO Soren Krogsgaard Thomsen, Ph.D.

DuPont established the Microbiome Venture to accelerate microbiome science-based solution development through a combination of selected strategic partnerships with microbiome science leaders and internal investments. The Microbiome Venture is an entrepreneurial team established in 2017 with a strong connection to the larger DuPont organization, tapping into capabilities including R&D, manufacturing, regulatory, legal and marketing.

The Microbiome Venture investment will complement DuPont’s existing product portfolio, especially in the areas of probiotics and prebiotics, including human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), and enable precision nutrition to prevent and potentially treat chronic illnesses and various other health conditions.




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