Ferring Pharmaceuticals has signed a research and development (R&D) partnership and licensing agreement with Swiss-based company PharmaBiome to develop new microbiome-based therapies in gastroenterology.

The alliance will combine Ferring’s development and commercial expertise with the technology of PharmaBiome to manufacture new donor-independent microbiome-based treatments.

The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement.

Ferring will receive exclusive rights for the development, production and marketing of microbiome-based biotherapeutics for gastroenterological ailments developed by the alliance.

Leveraging two key technologies, PharmaBiome has developed a technology platform that can choose bacterial strains to create bacterial consortia as live biotherapeutic products with specified activities.

The NicheMap and a co-cultivation technique facilitate quick and scalable manufacturing of the therapies.

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The company’s initiatives are intended to develop next-generation products that are donor material-independent and provide the same bacterial strain consortium with preferred activity and therapeutic benefits.

Ferring Pharmaceuticals Microbiome senior vice-president Carl Bilbo stated: “This agreement is the latest in Ferring’s long-term mission to maximise the therapeutic potential of the gut microbiome for the benefit of patients.

“PharmaBiome’s unique technology enables identification and manufacturing of defined consortium live microbiome bio-therapeutics that could reverse microbiome dysbiosis linked to disease. 

“This collaboration is a successful example of our strategy to use external innovation to build our pipeline complementary to our in-house research, and we aim to do further collaborations to build a vibrant research community.”

Ferring focuses on the development of therapies for mothers and infants with its portfolio covering medicines from conception to birth. 

PharmaBiome CEO Tomas de Wouters stated: “The trust of Ferring in our translational approach is an important validation of our work and a unique opportunity to accelerate the development of our rationally designed consortia with an experienced market leader in the microbiome therapeutic field.”

In August 2023, Royalty Pharma acquired a synthetic royalty on US net sales of Ferring’s intravesical gene therapy Adstiladrin (nadofaragene firadenovec-vncg) in a deal worth up to $500m.

Early R&D projects coverage on Pharmaceutical Technology is supported by Mimotopes.

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