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Enterome, Synthetic Biologics Collaborate on Research into Effects of Antibiotics on Gut Microbiome

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Enterome and Synthetic Biologics will conduct microbiome research on the effects of beta-lactam antibiotics on humans as part of an agreement announced today.

The deal includes a clinical microbiome study of about 100 patients anticipated to begin in July, which could aid Synthetic Biologics as it further develops SYN-004 for protecting the gut microbiome from the effects of intravenous beta-lactam antibiotics.

SYN-004 is an oral enzyme drug candidate that, in particular, could prevent C. difficile infections, the partners said. Phase 1a and 1b clinical trials of the drug are scheduled to begin later this year.

Enterome's microbiome study is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2014 and could provide insight into the harmful effects of beta-lactam antibiotics on the gut bacterial community. Enterome aims to discover a "fingerprint" of beta-lactam antibiotic-related damage, which would provide a biomarker for diagnostic use. The study, the partners said, leverages Enterome's shotgun metagenomic sequencing technology to profile the human gut microbiome.

Enterome is based in Paris and its technology platform, called the Metagenotyping system, is used to develop new tools, such as biomarkers and companion diagnostics, for managing diseases. In May the company announced a €10 million ($13.5 million) raise in the first tranche of a Series B financing round.

"It is clear that new diagnostic solutions are needed to properly address the growing problems of antibiotic-induced dysbiosis and associated hospital-acquired bacterial infections," Enterome CEO Pierre Belichard said in a statement. "Tailoring the use of anti-infective treatments based on microbiome profiling is beginning to show great promise as a way to address the management of infectious diseases."

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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