We're striving to build a bridge between basic research on the microbiota and treatment discoveries for patients with inflammatory bowel disorders. That is the crux of our work, which could ultimately lead to using micro-organisms from the intestines, or the molecules they produce, to treat alterations of the microbiota in sick patients.
Our lead candidates are based on our deep understanding of the key role of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii in modulating immune activity in the gut.
Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, a bacterial species to prevent and treat inflammatory bowel diseases
Faecalibacterium prausnitzii displays very strong anti-inflammatory effects and plays a central role in modulating immune activity in the gut.
Patients with a higher proportion of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii in their gut microbiota are significantly more likely to remain in remission.
As our lead bacterial candidate, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii will serve as proof of concept of our approach.
The power of the gut microbiota – body interactions
Our therapies are based on our growing understanding of the complex interactions between our body and our gut microbiota - a full organ made up of thousands of billions of microbes located in the gut.
The gut is an essential hub for our immune system.
Therefore, its interactions with the gut microbiota have a tremendous impact on our whole-body homeostasis. In this area, immune cells are directly exposed to the many antigens and immunomodulatory agents that are continually exchanged with our gut microbiota.
Direct links between a number of human pathologies and imbalances in the composition of the gut microbiota have recently been unveiled. We are working on ways to act directly on those microbiota imbalances and their consequences.
We believe that this new therapeutic strategy opens promising additional pathways to improve patients’ lives.
Faecalibacterium prausnitzii’s central role in the gut-body relationship
Faecalibacterium prausnitzii combines a unique set of characteristics and properties that make it the most promising product candidate in the therapeutic microbials field.
Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is one of the only 18 ubiquitous bacteria species over several hundreds of species in the human gut microbiota across all geographies. And, it is the most abundant bacteria in the whole human gut microbiota.
We and our collaborators have observed a robust correlation between the abundance of prausnitzii and good health. A decrease of this bacteria was repeatedly observed in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis.
Faecalibacterium prausnitzii theoretical Anti-inflammatory properties
Products secreted by Faecalibacterium prausnitzii block NF-kB activation induced by a pro-inflammatory stimulus.
Butyrate produced by Faecalibacterium prausnitzii inhibits NF-kB activation in mucosal biopsies.
Faecalibacterium prausnitzii components might interact with CD103+ dendritic cells (DCs) in the lamina propria and stimulate their migration to mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) and the induction of Tregs.
M cell transcytosis of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii in organized lymphoid structures may induce Tregs.
The capacity of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii to induce high amounts of IL-10 in antigen presenting cells may enhance the suppressive activity of Foxp3+ Tregs and block Th17 cells induced by pro-inflammatory stimuli.