Microbiome Dx company Bio-Me, Oslo, Norway, and Siolta Therapeutics, San Carlos, Calif, have entered into a collaboration and marketing agreement. Under the agreement, Siolta will provide both samples and insights into key criteria for Bio-Me to develop a rapid, detailed, and comprehensive diagnostic test for infants at risk of developing allergy and asthma.
The test will be offered to parents of newborns in order to help them take preventive steps to minimize the risk of their infant developing serious allergic and asthmatic conditions later on in life. The test will further help Siolta identify and monitor patients eligible for their live biotherapeutic therapy currently under development.
More than 4 million children suffer from asthma in the United States. It is estimated that 30% to 35% of infants in the United States are born into families with a history of allergy and asthma. This constitutes around 1.3 million infants annually who are typically considered to be associated with an increased risk. However, recent scientific publications show that infants within this group fall into different risk categories.
In a survey conducted by Bio-Me, about 88% of parents in this high-risk group would be interested in purchasing a test to determine the risk of their infant developing allergy and asthma, if it becomes available. This constitutes an annual market size of over $300 million in the United States alone.
“We are really excited about this collaboration with Siolta which gives us access to world-leading science into microbiome contributors to the development of allergy and asthma,” says Morten L. Isaksen, PhD, founder, and CEO of Bio-Me. “By combining this knowledge with our detailed and targeted Precision Microbiome Profiling (PMP) platform, we will be able to provide a novel and powerful prognostic test in this important market.”
“The PMP technology developed by Bio-Me is a great fit for Siolta. Such a test will add value to our clinical development program and has the potential to enhance the market introduction of our novel therapy,” says Nikole E. Kimes, PhD, CEO and co-founder of Siolta Therapeutics. “Most importantly, we look forward to working closely with the Bio-Me team to provide a first-in-class prognostic that will provide clarity for the many families with newborn infants at high risk for allergic disease.”