Scientific research has proved that microbiome, the genetic material of all the microbes living together in a particular habitat, plays an important role not only in human, plant and animal health but also in nutrition, cosmetics, and environmental restoration. As a result, fueled by the broad scope of the field, venture capital (VC) investments are on an ascent in microbiome companies, says GlobalData, a leading and data analytics company.
Reportedly, driven by the potential for disruption across industries coupled with large scale innovations, the microbiome therapeutics space witnessed over US$1bn VC investments globally in 2020 alone.
Manish Dixit, Principal Disruptive Tech Analyst at GlobalData, says: “Recent advances in microbiomes have prompted a shift in corporate strategy, partnerships and clinical research are on a sharp uptick with large enterprises either developing inhouse offerings or partnering with companies that are commercializing novel offerings in the microbiome space in industries such as pharma, healthcare, consumer, food, retail, animal health and agriculture, providing immense opportunities for growth.”
The Analytics Hub of GlobalData’ s Disruptor Intelligence Center allows users to drill down into visualization elements of individual datasets providing unique inputs and insights segregating signals from noise. A recent analysis from the database reveals the key industries exploring the new opportunities offered by microbiomes.
Several pharma companies are investigating the use cases of microbiomes for bio therapeutics and other therapy areas to treat auto-immune, metabolic, and infectious diseases. For example, US-based biotech company Persephone Biosciences is developing an artificial intelligence (AI)-derived microbiome therapeutic to prevent and treat COVID-19, as well as a stool-based diagnostic to help predict which patients are at the highest risk for developing severe COVID-19.
Consumer packaged goods
Consumer packaged goods companies are unlocking the potential of microbiomes as a source of distinctive functional ingredients to positively impact human health through dietary interventions. By focusing on ingredient and microbial formulation innovations via the APC Microbiome partnership, Kraft-Heinz intends to focus on a variety of bioactive end-products and their applications in food system to better align with strengthening demand for ‘clean’ and ‘safe’ products that will resonate with consumers.
Agriculture & Forestry
Boost Biomes Inc, a US-based producer of microbiome products, has developed a proprietary microbiome-based discovery platform using DNA sequencing and advanced informatics. Using the microbial-based discovery platform, the company intends to address the issues that impact plant health along with tackling agriculture related issues such as pathogen infestations, bacterial contamination, and spoilage.
L’Oreal and Micreos have partnered to develop new cosmetic solutions targeting the skin microbiome. The concept that microbes that are invisible to the naked eye could be the key to greatly improved skin health is a radical departure from the status quo in the skincare industry. The concept of skin-microbiome-friendly skincare is gaining traction with its impact on the future of the skincare market and skincare product innovation
Mr Dixit concludes: “Advancements in microbiomes opens up new avenues for applications in industrial, pharmaceutical and environmental technologies. Currently, niche biotech companies with their strong product pipelines with well-organized research and development techniques are accelerating the adoption of microbiomes across sectors by providing potential partnership or acquisition opportunities for large enterprises looking to gain a foothold in this space generating lucrative opportunities for growth of the microbiome sector.”