Deal to develop microbiome analysis for clinical nutrition
Day Two link with Johnson & Johnson on personalised microbiome analysis for diabetes nutrition
DayTwo, based in Israel, currently offers a personalised nutrition recommendation product, based on a user’s medical history and gut microbiome analysis. Users must provide a stool sample for the analysis, with kits currently shipping in Israel, and on pre-order in the US.
Health and wellness to therapeutic applications
“What we’re doing right now is claiming to balance your blood sugar levels, and it’s in the area of wellness and general health. Where we’re taking this is into a more clinical, medical outcome,” said Lihi Segal, CEO and co-founder of DayTwo.
“The collaboration with Johnson & Johnson is to leverage its experience in the medical field, and go into the area of digital therapeutics – and use our platform in medical treatment and prevention of disease,” she added.
Under the collaboration, which is with J&J subsidiary Janssen Research & Development, the firms aim to develop DayTwo’s platform to intercept conditions such as gestational and type-2 diabetes, along with other metabolic disorders.
According to Segal, the aim of the collaboration is to validate the platform’s effectiveness – meaning it can show clinical outcomes over time – in order to turn it into a “full-blown medical treatment programme”.
She said that while DayTwo is seeking to use its platform in medicine, it will also continue offering and developing its health and wellness offering.
“We’re definitely moving to a more medical direction, but this takes longer, and since we have something very actionable right now, and value we can bring to people right now with our platform, we started off with this,” Segal said.
Letter ratings for meals
Through the current recommendation engine, DayTwo offers users whose gut microbiomes have been sequenced personalised ratings for different foods.
“We score the food from ‘A+’ to ‘C-‘, all based on how this is going to affect your blood sugar levels – that is our angle. We want to get you into a situation where when you eat, you have as low a spike as possible after eating,” said Segal.
“It’s not just a list of ingredients – the body doesn’t work that way, the body works with the combination of what you’re eating. You can eat pasta with meatballs and pasta with cream sauce, and you may get a very different score,” she added.
She said the company was being careful to stay away from offering medical advice, which has tripped up companies such as genome analytics firm 23andMe in the past: “We are in the wellness area, and we’re staying within the general recommendations that are issued by the [United States] FDA for wellness products. We’re not giving you a health assessment, we’re not telling you you have a good or bad microbiome, we’re not giving you any medical advice.”
DayTwo will continue developing its platform, and has a roadmap for making use of the “very big, unique” datasets the firm has, including information on both clinical aspects and the microbiome.
“What we’re doing is using that database to leverage it into additional products, diagnostics and therapeutics, so that’s definitely on our roadmap – not specifically with J&J, but it could be,” she said.
Opening up the nutrition platform
As for the health and wellness side, DayTwo is planning to open up its platform with an application programming interface (API), to allow other companies to make use of its data and personal recommendations.
“For example if you did this and have your results, then you really want everybody who touches nutrition in your life to have access to that – say an employee wellness programme, and you’re now getting nutritional recommendations on the cafeteria in your work. You know there’s foods there that are A+, and dishes that are C,” said Segal.
“We want everybody to have access to your results – obviously you control how you share it, but if you do want to share it, we will open an API with whoever wants to partner with us, and allow their users and our users to share this information. It could be your doctor, your nutritionist, anyone who’s interested in tailoring your nutrition,” she added.