DuPont partners startup to create swallowable microbiome sampler

By Nikki Cutler

- Last updated on GMT

istock | phekthong lee
istock | phekthong lee
DuPont has partnered an early stage startup to help create a smart swallowable capsule which will offer routine access to 'unchartered territories' in the gut microbiota.

The DuPont Microbiome Venture is investing in and partnering with the UK startup BioMe Oxford Ltd which is developing a smart capsule named BioCapture to allow insights into the microbiota of humans and animals.

This technology aims to provide insights into the impact that live microbes and other microbiome modulators have on the gut microbiota in various sections of the gastrointestinal tract.

“We are delighted to partner with BioMe Oxford to develop the next generation of tools to accelerate innovation in the field of the microbiome.” ​DuPont Microbiome Venture Leader Sebastien Guery says.

“When ready, BioCapture will allow us to deepen our understanding of the impact our probiotics and other ingredients have on the microbiome in parts of the GI tract that are very difficult to access today other than through endoscopy procedures.

“Additionally, we will be able to support our customers and academic partners in accelerating insights gathered into the microbiome and how it can be modulated to improve health,”

The trailblazing startup was founded in 2015 by a team of scientists at the University of Oxford who are developing the capsule in partnership with the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

Soren Krogsgaard Thomsen, Ph.D, BioMe Oxford co-founder and CEO, says: “The microbial community inhabiting our gut is known to vary significantly in terms of abundance, composition and function between different segments​.

“Targeted and minimally invasive sampling using BioCapture has the potential to open up new areas of microbiome research by enabling routine access to previously unchartered territories.

“DuPont is a global leader in the nutrition and microbiome field, and we are excited to be working with their team of expert scientists to accelerate the development of BioCapture,”

Strategic ventures

DuPont established the Microbiome Venture to accelerate microbiome science-based solution development through a combination of selected strategic partnerships with microbiome science leaders and internal investments.

The Microbiome Venture is an entrepreneurial team established in 2017 with a strong connection to the larger DuPont organisation, tapping into capabilities including R&D, manufacturing, regulatory, legal and marketing.

The Microbiome Venture investment will complement DuPont’s existing product portfolio, especially in the areas of probiotics and prebiotics, including human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), and enable precision nutrition to prevent and potentially treat chronic illnesses and various other health conditions.  

Some recently announced partnerships include: The APC Microbiome Institute in Cork, Ireland, a multiyear enterprise focused on maternal and infant microbiomes; the Center of Food and Fermentation Technologies in Tallinn, Estonia, which will develop cultivation and bio-process capabilities for next-generation probiotics; and INRA Micalis-MetaGenoPolis, a pre-industrial demonstrator focused on deciphering the molecular mechanisms of action of DuPont’s probiotic strains through a functional metagenomics approach.



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