DuPont’s Microbiome Venture aims to lead development of new microbiome science-based solutions

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30 Nov 2017 --- DuPont Nutrition & Health has announced the development of what it describes as a “significant new initiative” with the creation of its Microbiome Venture to spearhead the development of new microbiome science-based solutions. The Microbiome Venture will play a key role in DuPont’s business growth strategy.

“Microbiome science is developing extremely fast with tremendous opportunity for innovation,” says DuPont Nutrition & Health Global Technology and Innovation Leader Angela Naef. “With the Microbiome Venture, we intend to build on our probiotics leadership position to develop new microbiome science-based solutions for health and wellness.”
 
The Microbiome Venture will engage in strategic partnerships with other microbiome science leaders in academia and industry to accelerate product development. The venture is described by the company as a focused entrepreneurial team with a strong connection to the larger DuPont organization, tapping into global research, development and commercialization capabilities.
 
DuPont has also announced that the Microbiome Venture investment will complement the company’s existing product portfolio, especially in the areas of probiotics and prebiotics, including human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs).
 
Major partnership with institute
The Microbiome Venture’s first major partnership is with the APC Microbiome Institute in Cork, Ireland, a collaboration between University College Cork, Teagasc (the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority) and Cork Institute of Technology, a world-leading Science Foundation Ireland Research Institute.
 
The multi-year partnership with the APC Microbiome Institute will focus on maternal and infant microbiomes, which play a critical role in infant development and long-term health. The goal is to develop solutions for establishing a healthy microbiome in early life.
 
Described by DuPont as one of the pioneers in the field of the microbiome, the APC has significant breadth and depth in microbiome science capability including an impressive track record in the areas of mother-infant and gut-brain axis. This made them an ideal partner for DuPont Nutrition & Health’s new venture, DuPont notes.
 
“We are delighted to be working with DuPont Nutrition & Health on this exciting project, which we are confident will lead to new innovations in infant gut microbiome science, for advancing infant health and development,” says Professor Catherine Stanton, project leader at the APC Microbiome Institute.
 
The human microbiome comprises all the microbes that live in and on the body. In fact, there are as many microbes living in the human gut as there are cells in the human body, DuPont notes. 
 
Academic research over the past ten years or so has demonstrated the significant role these microbes play in human health and disease. In fact, just yesterday another benefit was suggested with the news that modifying the gut microbiome could help to prevent asthma in infant boys. (link = http://www.nutritioninsight.com/news/modifying-gut-microbiome-may-eventually-prevent-asthma-in-infant-boys.html) These facts are cited by DuPont about how a healthy microbiome can be established in early life:
 
• At birth, the infant acquires its microbiota from the mother by the transfer to the infant of microbes resident in the birth canal, gut, breast milk and skin.
 
• At about two years, a mature microbiome develops in the infant with immune system development linked to that of the microbiome.
 
• The infant’s microbiome composition is influenced by birth mode, antibiotic use and breast milk components such as Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs).

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