DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences (DuPont) today announced a collaboration with the MRM Health NV (MRM Health), a biopharmaceutical company, focused on the discovery and development of innovative therapeutics based on the human microbiome. MRM Health also confirmed the successful completion of its first external investment round with the participation of Ackermans & van Haaren, DuPont, MRM Technologies, Qbic II and VIB.

DuPont and MRM Health will join forces to tackle a range of metabolic diseases, in which the proprietary MRM Health technology platform and some selected DuPont strains will be combined to develop novel therapeutics based on live bacterial strain combinations.

"We are thrilled to partner with MRM Health to jointly develop the next generation of microbiome products. Combining MRM Health’s unique technology platform with DuPont knowledge and experience provides a unique opportunity to accelerate the discovery and development of new therapeutic products in areas such as metabolic health," said Sebastien Guery, human microbiome venture leader, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences.

"We are excited to enter into a partnership with DuPont for the discovery and development of innovative therapies for metabolic diseases. We believe their extensive capabilities in the microbiome field together with our expertise and proprietary technology platform for developing gut microbiome-based therapeutics are a great combination in the quest to deliver a novel class of natural and efficacious solutions for millions of patients worldwide. In addition, we are delighted to have the financial support of long-term investor Ackermans & van Haaren, venture capital fund Qbic II and expert microbiome players MRM Technologies and DuPont, and to continue and strengthen our long-standing strategic partnership with VIB," said Sam Possemiers, CEO and co-founder of MRM Health.

The proceeds of the investment round provide MRM Health with the financing resources to advance its lead program in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to clinical studies in different patient populations and to further progress its ongoing discovery programs to deliver potential breakthrough treatments in Spondyloarthritis and other indications. Through the strategic partnership with VIB, MRM Health will leverage the extensive complementary microbiome and bioinformatics capabilities of the lab of Professor Jeroen Raes, VIB – KU Leuven and the multidisciplinary know-how and patient insights in arthritis and inflammatory diseases of Professor Dirk Elewaut, VIB – UGent and his team.

MRM Health was incorporated by MRM Technologies through a partial de-merger of the operations of ProDigest, a global specialist in the field of intestinal and microbiome research, allowing ProDigest to continue and further expand its independent and unique scientific research services to clients across sectors from pharmaceutical, food and feed industry. These activities are based on ProDigest’s SHIME® technology (Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem, unique laboratory models of the human and animal gastrointestinal tract) which can be used to simulate the metabolism and biodistribution of pharmaceuticals in development, as well as the interaction of the intestinal microbiome with pharmaceuticals, food ingredients, animal feed and health products.

1 The most advanced programme is MH002, a drug candidate for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which includes Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). MH002 is an optimized consortium of bacteria, consisting of 6 rationally selected and well-characterised commensal strains.