SAINT-PREX, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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.2 Over 10 million people worldwide live with the pain and discomfort of inflammatory bowel disease.3 With reproductive health and inflammatory bowel concerns on the rise,2,4 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.”
About Ferring Pharmaceuticals
Ferring Pharmaceuticals is a research-driven, specialty biopharmaceutical group committed to helping people around the world build families and live better lives. Headquartered in Saint-Prex, Switzerland, Ferring is a leader in reproductive medicine and women’s health, and in specialty areas within gastroenterology and urology. Ferring has been developing treatments for mothers and babies for over 50 years and has a portfolio covering treatments from conception to birth. Founded in 1950, privately-owned Ferring now employs approximately 6,500 people worldwide, has its own operating subsidiaries in nearly 60 countries and markets its products in 110 countries.
About Rebiotix Inc.
Rebiotix Inc., part of the Ferring Pharmaceuticals Group, is a late-stage clinical microbiome company focused on harnessing the power of the human microbiome to revolutionise the treatment of challenging diseases. Rebiotix possesses a deep and diverse clinical pipeline targeting several other disease states with drug products built on its pioneering Microbiota Restoration Therapy™ (MRT™) drug platform. The MRT platform is a standardised, stabilised drug technology that is designed to rehabilitate the human microbiome by delivering a broad consortium of live microbes into a patient’s intestinal tract via a ready-to-use and easy-to-administer format. For more information on Rebiotix and its pipeline of human microbiome-directed therapies, visit www.rebiotix.com.
About Karolinska Institutet
Karolinska Institutet is one of the world’s leading medical universities. Its vision is to significantly contribute to the improvement of human health. Karolinska Institutet accounts for the single largest share of all academic medical research conducted in Sweden and offers the country’s broadest range of education in medicine and health sciences. The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet selects the Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine. For more information please visit www.ki.se/en.
1 Hachem HE, Crepaux V, May-Panloup P, et al. Recurrent pregnancy loss: current perspectives. International Journal of Womens Health. 2017; 9: 331–345.
2 WHO. Preterm birth. 2018. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/preterm-birth [Accessed: January 2019].
3 Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. World IBD Day: Beyond Borders May 19, 2018. Available at: http://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/WorldIBDDay/ [Accessed: January 2019].
4 Kaplan G. The global burden of IBD: from 2015 to 2025. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2015; 12: 720–727.