Microba completes stage one screening for its autoimmune disease program

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Microba Life Sciences (ASX:MAP) has announced that stage one activity screening for its autoimmune disease program has been completed on schedule with partner Ginkgo Bioworks.

The company said stage one activity screening analysed 1,821 strains selected through its data-driven drug discovery platform, with 62 per cent of strains demonstrating significant immunomodulatory activity and a further 18 per cent significantly impacting the inflammasome.

From this work, the company has progressed 36 strains into stage two functional screening for expected completion in the fourth quarter of the financial year 2024 to enable lead candidate selection.

Microba’s autoimmune disease therapeutic discovery program is being conducted in partnership with synthetic biology leader Ginkgo Bioworks.

Microba said this has enabled it to leverage Ginkgo’s high-throughput anaerobic culturing, multi-omics data collection and analysis, functional bioassay screening, and media and fermentation optimisation capabilities to execute a robust drug discovery program. This has generated datasets that characterise the therapeutic biology of around 200 lead strains targeting autoimmune disorders.

According to Professor Trent Munro, the senior vice president of Therapeutics at Microba, “Microba is at the forefront of developing precision Microbiome Therapeutics enabled by machine learning and artificial intelligence, that have the potential to help patients in need across a number of therapeutic areas.

"This milestone for our auto-immune disease program is a critical step as we move toward selecting potential lead candidates for future development. Our partnership with Ginkgo has allowed us to interrogate complex biology with a speed and throughput which would not be otherwise possible. We are very pleased with this data and the robustness of the primary screening assays, and are now confidently proceeding to Stage 2 deep functional screening.”