Biomica announces interim positive results from irritable bowel syndrome program

irritable bowel syndrome IBS

Biomica Ltd., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing microbiome-based therapeutics, has released interim positive results from pre-clinical studies in its irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) program. 

The work was performed in collaboration with the lab of Kara Gross Margolis, associate director for clinical and translational research for the New York University Pain Research Center and an associate professor in the Department of Molecular Pathobiology in the NYU College of Dentistry and the Department of Pediatrics at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. In the studies, Biomica tested two candidate therapeutic consortia of live bacterial strains, BMC426 and BMC427. Treatment with these drug candidates effectively reduced visceral pain, a major symptom of IBS.

IBS is a chronic digestive system disorder estimated to affect 4.1% of the worldwide population. IBS-affected individuals suffer from abdominal pain, bloating, and abnormal bowel movements that often affect their daily functioning and quality of life. Current standard therapies for IBS are limited, particularly in relation to IBS-associated abdominal pain. Studies have pointed to associations between alterations in the gut microbiome and IBS, suggesting microbiome involvement in developing IBS symptoms.

BMC426 and BMC427 were designed based on their functional capabilities, utilizing data collected from IBS patients through research conducted at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill by Yehuda Ringel, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Biomica. The data was analyzed in silico using Biomica’s PRISM system, a proprietary computational platform powered by Evogene’s MicroBoost AItech-engine. Numerous functional capabilities of BMC426 and BMC427 have been successfully validated in relevant in-vitro models. 

Biomica study design and initial results

Biomica, a subsidiary of Evogene Ltd., revealed that animals treated with either BMC426 or BMC427 displayed significantly lower levels of visceral sensitivity compared to the placebo-treated group. The study design and initial results will be presented in an oral presentation at the NeuroGASTRO conference of the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility (ESNM) in September 2023.

These results lay the foundation for Biomica’s advancement of its IBS therapeutics development program. In the coming year, Biomica plans to explore additional parameters related to pain reduction and the alleviation of other IBS symptoms, building upon these pre-clinical findings.

Gross Margolis said: “The results of this study are incredibly exciting as they are the first to show that BMC426 or BMC427 may be helpful in the treatment of visceral pain in IBS and other gastrointestinal disorders, that are highly common with few effective therapies.”

Ringel said: “We express our sincere gratitude to Prof. Kara Gross Margolis and her team at NYU, as their involvement has been instrumental in the promising results achieved in these in-vivo pre-clinical studies. By leveraging our innovative computational approach, which harnesses big data and high-resolution microbiome analysis to identify the optimal microbes for our product, we are poised to introduce a promising, microbiome-targeted therapy for this chronic and debilitating condition. We eagerly look forward to sharing further updates on the progress of this program as we continue our journey forward.”

Last year, the company raised $20 million to advance its microbiome-based therapeutics pipeline.