UK’s intellectual property-based businesses developer IP Group has announced the creation of a newly formed spin-out company from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Microbiotica.

The new company has been established to commercialise the Sanger Institute’s research into the role of the human microbiome in disease.

The investment is led by IP Group with Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC), in which it is a shareholder.

Each party is contributing £4m to provide a total initial funding of £8m.

IP Group biotech head Sam Williams said: “By exploring the fundamentals of gut flora distribution and genetics, Microbiotica has an opportunity to take a lead in understanding how the microbiome can be used to not only develop new therapeutics for a range of diseases, but also how to stratify patients according to their microbial profile, identify links with disease and exploit its full potential for human healthcare.

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"It has been a privilege to work with my co-founders to create the concept of Microbiotica as a leading player in microbiome-based therapeutics."

“This investment reflects IP Group’s approach to new company formation in the biotech sector, backing only the science which promises to bring about revolutionary approaches to human medicine and the teams that can deliver them.”

The Sanger Institute has been at the forefront of this research related to bacteria that reside in the human intestine known as the gut microbiome.

Microbiotica CEO Mike Romanos said: “It has been a privilege to work with my co-founders to create the concept of Microbiotica as a leading player in microbiome-based therapeutics.”

By using the funding from IP Group and CIC, Microbiotica will establish labs within the Wellcome Genome Campus at Hinxton, Cambridge, and to progress multiple live bacteriotherapy programmes into development.

Image: Escherichia coli, one of the many species of bacteria present in the human gut. Photo: courtesy of Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH.