From genome sequencing to treating Crohn's disease, startups are unlocking the potential of the human microbiome.

The human microbiome is an ecosystem of trillions of microbes — some dangerous and some beneficial — living within the body. For the most part, they quietly help us digest our food, absorb nutrients, and fight off dangerous pathogens. However, when dangerous microbes, such as the bacterium C. Difficile, are allowed to multiply they can potentially wreak havoc on the digestive system causing organ failure and hospitalization.

We used the CB Insights platform to identify 24 of the most well-funded private companies targeting the microbiome and mapped them according to the 7 categories within which they operate. Ranging from developing therapeutics to treat deadly intestinal diseases to sequencing the microbial genome, these companies are reinventing modern medicine.

Since many of these companies are developing compounds to treat a variety of conditions, categories were chosen based on the mechanism of their leading therapeutic candidate.

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Click on the image below to enlarge. This market map is not meant to be exhaustive of companies in the space. 

Market Map last version

Here are the categories in our map:

Oral Health: Companies targeting oral diseases. C3J Therapeutics, for example, is developing therapeutics to treat dental infection. C3J has developed a method of selectively targeting harmful pathogens while sparing healthy microorganisms in the mouth.

Skin Disease: Companies working to prevent and/or treat skin diseases such as acne, eczema, or dermatitis. Azitra is a research & development stage company developing a microbiome-based platform to treat a variety of skin diseases including eczema and psoriasis.

Intestinal Health: Companies working to treat diseases of the digestive system caused by an imbalance in the intestinal microbiome. Enterome is working to treat Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. Second Genome is addressing inflammatory bowel disease.

Clinical Diagnostics: ARTPred is developing technology intended to predict the odds of failure of an embryo to implant in the uterus during in-vitro fertilization procedures. The platform is based on biomarker profiles of the urogenital microbiome.

Drug Delivery: Blue Turtle Bio is utilizing bacteria from the gut microbiome as a drug delivery platform for supplemental enzymes intended to treat enzyme-deficient disease states.

Dietary Supplements: Companies such as ISOThrive develop products to supplement or modulate the gut microbiome. ISOThrive produces prebiotics (nondigestible carbohydrates that act as food for probiotics) intended to promote digestive health.

Genomics: Companies such as uBiome are developing genomic tests meant to identify and diagnose harmful microbes in the body. uBiome’s platform, SmartGut, is a screening test used to sequence and identify the DNA of both healthy and disease-causing gut microbes.

Company Chart:

24 Startups Targetinging The Microbiome
Company Select Investors Category
C3J Therapeutics Renaissance Holding Company, Delta Dental Oral Health
Naked Biome Illumina Ventures, Undisclosed Angel Investors Skin Disease
Azitra Breakout Labs Skin Disease
Xycrobe Therapeutics Undisclosed Investors Skin Disease
Symbiotic Health Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund, Jove Equity Partners Intestinal Health
Eligo Bioscience Seventure Partners Intestinal Health
Rebiotix Quatris Fund, Michael Berman Intestinal Health
Enterome Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Nestle Health Science, Seventure Partners, Lundbeckfond Ventures Intestinal Health
Vedanta Biosciences Seventure Partners, Rock Springs Capital Intestinal Health
MaaT Pharma Biocodex Intestinal Health
Second Genome Digitalis Ventures, Pfizer Venture Investments, Roche Venture Fund, Mayo Clinic, Morgenthaler Ventures Intestinal Health
Blue Turtle Bio Indie.Bio Drug Delivery
TargEDys Pontifax, NCI, Seventure Partners Dietary Supplements
ISOThrive Undisclosed Investors Genomics
MicroBiome Therapeutics NO/LA Angel Network Genomics
Evolve Biosystems Horizons Ventures, Tate & Lyle Ventures Genomics
uBiome 500 Accelerator, 8VC, Andreessen Horowitz,  Slow Ventures, Y Combinator Genomics
Epibiome Silicon Valley Bank, Illumina Accelerator Genomics
Realbio Technology Bioclub, Green Pine Capital Partners, Tianheyongxin Investment Genomics
Shoreline Biome Undisclosed Investors Genomics
CosmosID Applied Value Group Genomics
MicroBiome Insights Undisclosed Investors Genomics
Metabogen BioGaia Genomics
ARTPred Technology Foundation STW Clinical Diagnostics


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