Pharma Focus Asia

Ferring, Rebiotix and Karolinska Institutet Extend Collaboration to Research Next Generation of Microbiome Treatments

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Karolinska Institutet announced today a five-year extension of their collaboration to explore the potential of the human microbiome in reproductive medicine and women’s health and gastroenterology. The collaboration brings together specialist expertise from Karolinska Institutet in early stage research, Rebiotix Inc. (acquired by Ferring in 2018), a late-stage clinical microbiome company, and Ferring’s therapeutic area and commercialisation capabilities.

The extension includes six reproductive health clinical studies of approximately 6,000 women and babies and four gastroenterology studies of approximately 3,000 adults and children, to further investigate the role of the microbiome in areas of high unmet need including recurrent pregnancy loss, preterm birth and inflammatory bowel disease.

“The extension of this partnership presents an exciting research opportunity, bringing together unique capabilities of Ferring, Karolinska Institutet and Rebiotix across the clinical development continuum in the mircrobiome space,” said Lee Jones, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rebiotix, Inc. “This, together with Ferring’s significant experience in reproductive medicine and gastroenterology, offers the potential to drive future research and development for the next generation of microbiome treatments needed to help more people build healthy families and live better lives.”

Up to 5% of couples face the heartache of recurrent pregnancy loss1 and around 15 million babies are born preterm every year around the world, with approximately 1 million children dying each year due to related complications.Over 10 million people worldwide live with the pain and discomfort of inflammatory bowel disease.With reproductive health and inflammatory bowel concerns on the rise, there is a need to increase understanding of their causes and develop new solutions.

“This innovative public-private partnership demonstrates our ongoing, shared commitment to investigating the human microbiome,” said Lars Engstrand, Professor at Karolinska Institutet and Director of the Center for Translational Microbiome Research. “It will support the expansion of Karolinska Institutet’s foundation of robust biological data and drive our understanding of the microbiome’s impact on important reproductive and gut health challenges.”

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