Seed Health targets women’s health with new vaginal synbiotic

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Dr_Microbe / Getty Images
© Dr_Microbe / Getty Images

Related tags women's health vaginal microbiome

Microbial sciences company Seed Health has expanded into the women’s health space with a new synbiotic built on the research of renowned vaginal microbiome scientist Dr. Jacques Ravel.

The VS-01 vaginal synbiotic is formulated with an ecology of three proprietary strains of Lactobacillus crispatus​, which were identified from over 600 candidate probiotic strains for their superior efficacy in maintaining regulated pH and promoting stability in vaginal health.

Leveraging Dr. Ravel's discoveries, VS-01 is formulated with L. crispatus​ LUCA103, LUCA011 and LUCA009, each identified for key genomic features that confer stability in the vaginal environment, according to a press release from Seed.

"During my more than two decades of research in this field, I've seen countless consumer products that fail to address the unique needs of the vaginal microbiome," Dr. Ravel said. "Many probiotics aimed at vaginal health utilize gut strains or are administered as oral supplements, ignoring that these methods do not direct the microbes from the GI tract to the vagina. 

"I am inspired to see Seed pioneer a new frontier in vaginal health, translating my research from the lab into innovations that make a real difference in women's lives."

Beyond consumer applications, Seed Health is working with Dr. Ravel under LUCA Biologics to develop live biotherapeutics targeting the vaginal microbiome for unmet needs in urogenital and reproductive health.

"This launch represents the very essence of why we founded Seed: to translate pioneering microbiome discoveries into life-changing health innovations,” said Ara Katz, Seed Health co-founder and co-CEO.

“As a woman and a mother, it is especially meaningful to accelerate advancements in an area that has been so deprioritized and systemically overlooked. The vaginal microbiome is the next frontier in women’s health, and VS-01 embodies its vast potential—an entirely new paradigm of care that empowers greater agency over our bodies.”

Science

The specific formulation was the subject of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, the results of which will be presented at the 2024 annual conference of the Infectious Diseases Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology (IDSOG).

According to Seed, VS-01 established an optimal vaginal microbiome dominated by L. crispatus​ in 90% of participants with a non-optimal vaginal microbiome within 21 days of use.

In addition, the VS-01 suppository tablet rapidly increased abundance of L. crispatus​ in the vaginal environment. In contrast, no strains from a leading oral probiotic for vaginal health were detected in the vagina by the end of the study.

The company also claims that its proprietary SMART Tablet provides an extended-release profile that is superior to both placebo and a fast-release vaginal capsule with the same strains.

Seed

Widely known for its consumer health brand Seed, the company currently has two consumer products: DS-01 Daily Synbiotic for adults and PDS-08, a pediatric synbiotic.

DS-01, a broad-spectrum probiotic with 24 genetically distinct microorganisms across 12 species, was developed with Dr. Gregor Reid, Seed Health's scientific advisor, past-president of the International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP), and former chair of the United Nations World Health Organization Expert Panel that authored the global scientific definition of probiotics. The product won the NutraIngredients-USA Award for probiotic product of the year in 2022.

PDS-08 was launched in 2022 and is a first multi-strain synbiotic formulated with L. salivarius​ LS01, Bifidobacterium breve​ B632, B. breve​ BR03, B. lactis​ BPL1, B. longum​ ES1, L. casei​ BPL4, L. rhamnosus​ GG, L. acidophilus​ NCFM and B. animalis​ subsp. lactis​ Bi-07.

Beyond the consumer products, Seed also has a biotech platform for microbiome science.

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