Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the biotechnology sector. As there are a lot of startups working on various different applications, we decided to share our insights with you. Here, we take a look at 4 promising use cases of engineered microbes.
Heat Map: 4 Top Engineered Microbes Solutions
For our 4 top picks, we used a data-driven startup scouting approach to identify the most relevant solutions globally. The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 4 interesting examples out of 90 relevant solutions. Depending on your specific needs, your top picks might look entirely different.
Novome Biotechnologies – Living Medicines
The bacteria that live in our bodies, especially those in the gut, influence our personalities, dietary preferences, and multiple aspects of our health. In recent years, many diseases like gastric ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome have been determined to be caused by changes in the microbial diversity of the gut. As a recourse, altering the gut microbe diversity has gained traction as a mechanism to treat these diseases.
Novome Biotechnologies, a startup based out of the United States, uses cell therapy to change the composition of the gut. Their engineered bacteria colonize the gut, aided and controlled by daily prebiotic doses, and produce therapeutic molecules. Over time, this leads to permanent colonization of the gut and treatment of chronic ailments of the region.
T3 Pharma – Bacterial Cancer Therapy
For a long time, cancer researchers believed that tumors are sterile. Now, it is well known that they host a multitude of bacteria, just like any other site inside human bodies. This has completely changed the role of bacteria in our fight against cancer. The fact that bacteria can inject proteins into human cells, including tumor cells, makes them an attractive candidate for cancer therapy.
T3 Pharma, a startup spin-off from the University of Basel, Switzerland, uses engineered bacteria to treat cancer. They have engineered bacteria into a proprietary vehicle. As the immune system in healthy tissues clears these bacterial vehicles, they accumulate in tumor cells where they deliver therapeutic proteins.
Hyasynth – Cannabinoids
The medical use of cannabinoids has gained traction, and policy support, in many countries over recent years. Cannabinoids have been demonstrated to relieve pain, reduce anxiety, and alleviate side-effects of chemotherapy. Many other applications other than medical and recreational use are being developed. However, growing plants to extract cannabinoids takes a lot of time and yields very low amounts.
The Canadian startup Hyasynth employs engineered yeast to produce cannabinoids on a large scale. They can make any combination of cannabinoids and other products in any desired formulation. Because they produce them using fast-growing microbes, they can test novel cannabinoids faster than traditional growers.
Culture Biosciences – Biomanufacturing-as-a-Service
To produce anything profitably from microbes, a large variety of them need to be first grown in multiple fermenters before the whole process is optimized. Setting up a facility with multiple fermenters requires a lot of investment in both money and time. However, outsourcing fermentation can mitigate high production costs and delayed production times.
Culture Biosciences, a company based in South San Francisco, offers Biomanufacturing-as-a-Service to early-stage biotech startups. Their customers send their microbe samples and share experimental protocols that Culture runs on its fermenters. They can then monitor and analyze production remotely over a digital platform. This allows their customers to bring a product from the lab to market faster.
What About The Other 86 Engineered Microbes Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence for your Proof of Concept (PoC), partnership, or investment targets. The 4 engineered microbes startups showcased above are promising examples out of 90 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria and collaboration strategy, get in touch.