How will Microbiome Impact Human Therapeutics? Who’s driving it and why?

The human body and its microbiome live in a symbiotic relationship with each other, and it has long been speculated that one cannot live without the other.

Our interest in this phenomenon combined with an enhanced understanding of the individual players has exploded in recent years, thanks to great advances in genomics and big data analysis. The White House moonshot label has helped focus the effort in bringing academia, companies, and investors together. It is now well understood that most of our microbiome is in the human gut as an integral part of our immune system, performing many functions for the well-being of its host – our human body.

Will future advances in deciphering this paradigm provide hope and revolutionize the healthcare industry of the future and help innovate new ways to control disease and human growth, or is this hype going to unlock a Pandora’s Box of issues, which we understand little about now? Perturbation of this ecosystem (10 to 1 bacteria to human cells) could have unknown consequences on the long-term health and stability of the human body – positive and negative. How soon will we be able to harness the power of the microbiome and control it to have a major positive impact on life itself?

The panelists uncover some of these truths and discuss where this new field of R&D is headed. Here are some of the topics and questions the panel addresses:

  • Is the real way to a person’s heart through their stomach? Maybe the ancients knew!
  • Financial approach and ROI for early and late-stage investments into this arena
  • Timelines for impact in terms of developing therapeutics and diagnostics
  • Advances in the sciences needed to “really” understand what’s going on
  • Opportunities and challenges of delving into the human microbiome
  • Where is this field headed in terms of pharma and healthcare involvement?
  • What partnerships are critically needed between academia, companies, financial institutions, and the government?
  • Predictions on translation of early successes to therapeutic area
  • FDA and the microbiome – friend or foe?

And any questions that you bring up during the discussion…

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Company team

Ravi Kiron, PhD, MBA - Moderator 

Managing Partner, BioPharm Strategy Advisors Inc.

Dr. Ravi Kiron is well versed in various aspects of the pharma and biotech R&D value chain across from early discovery and pre-clinical through late-stage clinical development, IP & regulatory strategy, product commercialization, technology & business development, marketing & launch – over the past 30 years. Read More
Company team

Mark S. Wilson, MBA - Panelist

President and CEO, MatriSys Bioscience, Inc.

Mr. Wilson brings more than 29 years of life science entrepreneurship experience in biopharmaceutical development, business development, licensing, strategic alliance formation and management. Mr. Wilson is currently the Co-founder, President, and CEO of MatriSys Bioscience, Inc. a clinical stage skin microbiome company.  Read More
compay team 

Colleen Cutcliffe, PhD - Panelist

CEO and Co-Founder, Whole Biome

Colleen Cutcliffe is the CEO and Co-Founder of Whole Biome, Inc, which is developing novel microbiome interventions and diagnostics using a proprietary discovery platform. Colleen has over 15 years of experience leading and managing biology teams in academia, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Prior to starting Whole Biome, Colleen was the Senior Manager of Biology at Pacific Biosciences and a Scientist at Elan Pharmaceuticals. Read More
Company team

Mohan Iyer, MBA - Panelist

Chief Business Officer, Second Genome

Mohan S. Iyer is Chief Business Officer of Second Genome, one of the leading start-ups in the microbiome field.  He started his career as a biochemical engineer at Genentech in the mid-80s, when the biotech industry itself was comprised of start-ups.  In a career spanning almost 30 years in biotech, he has held various executive level positions in both technical and business functions at several start-ups in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Read More
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