Building upon the recently announced partnership with TFTAK in March 2018, the DuPont Nutrition & Health Microbiome Venture continues to strengthen its capabilities in announcing the third strategic research and development partnership. The newly forged relationship with INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research), through both the Micalis Institute and MetaGenoPolis, a pre-industrial demonstrator, will be focused on deciphering the molecular mechanisms of action of DuPont’s probiotic strains through a functional metagenomics approach.

INRA has developed and validated a high-throughput screening (HTS) platform to test the effect of large DNA fragment in genomic or metagenomic libraries on intestinal epithelial cell lines modified with reporter gene technology. This allows the screening of genomic and metagenomic clones on various reporter systems targeting pathways involved in homeostasis, metabolism, immune control as well as enteroendocrine cell activation.

"We are thrilled to partner with INRA MetaGenoPolis and Micalis Institute as DuPont continues to build its capabilities to lead microbiome innovation through strategic partnerships," said Microbiome Venture Leader Sebastien Guery. "Following our partnerships with APC Cork to discover new strains for maternal and infant health and with the Center of Food and Fermentation Technologies (TFTAK) in Tallinn, Estonia, to understand the "culturability" of next-generation probiotics, we are nicely complementing our set of capabilities by adding the understanding of the DuPont™ Danisco® probiotics’ mechanisms of action on human health at a molecular level."

With its world-renowned scientists and excellent technical capabilities in functional genomics, INRA will be a strong partner with DuPont by defining the molecular mechanisms of action of DuPont™ Danisco® probiotic strains. 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.

INRA, through its Micalis Institute and metagenomics platforms at MetaGenoPolis, collaborates with many leaders in the field, worldwide, contributing its know-how and tools to discoveries and breakthrough of high impact. INRA is the major European actor in the field of gut microbiota in terms of publications.

DuPont has a long-standing innovation relationship with INRA that began as early as 1987 when DuPont was the first company to sponsor INRA Ph.D. theses. Building on this fruitful collaboration, this new partnership will be part of the Qualiment® network, which has been awarded the "Carnot Institute" label of excellence. Qualiment® is a network of research institutes and universities created to provide the necessary scientific and technological resources to support companies in developing new food products with higher sensory and nutritional qualities and for a sustainable alimentation.

Established in late 2017, the Microbiome Venture is an entrepreneurial team drawing on DuPont 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.)

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