Swiss drugs company Ferring Pharmaceuticals will fully fund the creation of a joint research center with the Karolinska Institutet of Sweden, to conduct human microbiome studies with an eye on new therapies. The research unit will be partly situated in the Science for Life Laboratory in Solna, a biotechnology center co-hosted by four major Swedish universities, and will be directed by Lars Engstrand of the Karolinska Institutet.
Small biotech companies like Seres Health and Microbiome Therapeutics are looking to studies of the microbial communities in the human body as inspiration for new probiotics, transplants, traditional drugs, or engineered bacteria that could be used to treat disease. Ferring hopes to follow suit, by working with the Karolinska Institutet on a large survey of human microbiomes in different disease states.
“There is no question that the information coming from this field will lead to innovation in life sciences through improvements in diagnosis, prevention, and therapy,” said Per Falk, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Ferring, in a press release announcing the partnership