DuPont partners with start-up on oral capsule to sample microbiome

British BioMe Oxford aims to use the technology to further innovation in probiotics and prebiotics for precision medicine

The DuPont Microbiome Venture has partnered with UK startup BioMe Oxford. The Oxford-based BioMe Oxford is developing a smart, orally delivered capsule that can sample gut microbiota in both humans and animals. The device is to be called BioCapture.

DuPont will work with BioMe Oxford and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) to further the development of BioCapture. This technology would allow unique insights into the impact that live microbes and other microbiome modulators have on the gut microbiota in various sections of the gastrointestinal tract.

DuPont Microbiome Venture Leader, Sebastien Guery, said: “When ready, BioCapture will allow us to deepen our understanding of the impact our probiotics and other ingredients have on the microbiome in parts of the GI tract that are very difficult to access today other than through endoscopy procedures.”

Guery added: “Additionally, we will be able to support our customers and academic partners in accelerating insights gathered into the microbiome and how it can be modulated to improve health.”

The joint effort project of DuPont, AMRC and BioMe Oxford will be a way to sample the gut microbiota in both humans and animals. This will provide new insights on how diets, ingredients and probiotics influence the gut microbiota the subject.

BioMe Oxford Co-Founder and CEO, Soren Krogsgaard Thomsen, explained that the microbial community inhabiting our gut is known to vary significantly in terms of abundance, composition and function between different segments.

“Targeted and minimally invasive sampling using BioCapture has the potential to open up new areas of microbiome research by enabling routine access to previously unchartered territories,” Thomsen said.

Ventures of the microbiome

DuPont established the Microbiome Venture to accelerate microbiome science-based solution development through a combination of selected strategic partnerships with microbiome science leaders and internal investments.

The Microbiome Venture is an entrepreneurial team established in 2017 with a strong connection to the larger DuPont organisation, tapping into capabilities including R&D, manufacturing, regulatory, legal and marketing.

The Microbiome Venture investment will complement DuPont’s existing product portfolio, especially in the areas of probiotics and prebiotics, including human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), and enable precision nutrition to prevent and potentially treat chronic illnesses and various other health conditions.