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Memorial Sloan Kettering, Seres Partner to Develop Microbiome Cancer Drugs

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Seres Therapeutics announced today that it has formed a multi-year strategic alliance with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) to discover and develop microbiome drugs that improve cancer therapies.

Specifically, the partners will use bacteria from the human microbiome to prevent transplant-related infections and graft-versus-host disease in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT)-based cancer treatment. They also hope to increase the safety and efficacy of checkpoint inhibitor-based cancer immunotherapeutics.

MSKCC "scientists have been at the forefront of research into the crucial role of the microbiome in disease, and we believe our combined insights and capabilities could be strongly synergistic and pave the way toward clinically meaningful therapeutic applications for patients with various cancers and serious conditions related to their treatment," Seres Chairman and CEO Roger Pomerantz said in a statement.

Under the terms of the deal, the partners will use patient samples from MSKCC clinical studies to generate microbiome metagenomic signatures and other clinical data that could help in designing of novel microbiome therapeutics.

Seres will receive a global license to MSKCC intellectual property on the use of bacterial compositions in treating HSCT patients and related areas. Seres is currently developing SER-155, a preclinical therapeutic composed of in vitro cultured bacterial species for improving HSCT patient outcomes.

Additional terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.