The human microbiome comprises tens of trillions of microbes that live in and on the human body and is a complex microbial ecosystem of more than 1000 species. These microbes produce thousands of different metabolites and are responsible for as much as 30% of the metabolites found in human blood. Looking at these facts, it should not be surprising that these microbes play a crucial role in many aspects of human health, from digestive and immune health, protecting against pathogens and to potentially influencing mood and cognitive health. Multiple studies have shown that an unbalanced microbiome, referred to as “dysbiosis”, is associated with the onset of chronic conditions such as for example irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, and diabetes. Understanding and modulating the microbiome has the potential to delay the onset of chronic diseases and, in some cases, even restore and promote overall health.
In 2017, DuPont launched the Microbiome Venture, a small and focused entrepreneurial team with a strong connection to the entire DuPont organization. Through strategic partnerships and investments in research and development, the Microbiome Venture will complement and build upon DuPont’s existing leadership in the areas of probiotics and prebiotics, including human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), to deliver microbiome-science-based products and solutions.
Strategic partnerships will pair DuPont’s leadership in probiotics and prebiotics, research and clinical expertise, and commercialization capabilities with the strengths of leading academic groups and start-ups. Some recently announced partnerships include the APC Microbiome Institute in Cork, Ireland, a multiyear enterprise focused on maternal and infant microbiomes, and the Center of Food and Fermentation Technologies in Tallinn, Estonia, which will develop cultivation and bioprocess capabilities for next-generation probiotics, and INRA Micalis-MetaGenoPolis, a pre-industrial demonstrator, will be focused on deciphering the molecular mechanisms of action of DuPont’s probiotic strains through a functional metagenomics approach.
DuPont is uniquely positioned to be a leading innovator in the field of microbes for nutrition, health, and wellness. There are three primary ways to modulate the microbiome—molecules, microbes, and phages—and DuPont has significant expertise and capabilities in all of them. And while the Microbiome Venture may be a new initiative, as part of DuPont it is backed by a global team of scientists, thought leaders, and innovators, and decades of research, manufacturing, commercialization, and regulatory expertise.