Scottish life sciences firm's partnership will help patients better cope with cancer treatments

Bellshill-based life sciences firm EnteroBiotix has agreed a partnership with Imperial College London to help patients better cope with cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.

The collaboration includes a clinical trial to evaluate how the Lanarkshire firm’s lead product, a capsule with a healthy donor’s diverse gut ecosystem of microbiota, impacts bone marrow transplant patients with blood cancer. The trials are to be run across six of the UK’s top blood cancer centres.

The aim is to make the patient healthier from within, increasing their chances of survival, before they embark on challenging cancer therapy. Chemo typically inflames the gut, leading to poor nutrition and high rates of infection. The Medical Research Council funded trial, supported in-kind by EnteroBiotix, will build on Imperial’s successful pilot study, in the same patient population, which demonstrated preliminary signals trending towards “intestinal microbiota transplantation” reducing complications and improving survival rates.

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James McIlroy, founder and chief executive of EnteroBiotix, said: “Partnering with Imperial allows us to explore different research opportunities and takes us closer to fulfilling our vision to develop products that benefit patients. The early data already generated so far by Imperial is very exciting. It is helping to build a strong case for microbiome enhancement. The Imperial team is a discovery engine and EnteroBiotix can help translate that into a commercial product that benefits patients around the world.”

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Professor Julian Marchesi of Imperial College London added: “Patients with blood cancers are a group whose gut microbiome is particularly under attack. They often receive strong chemotherapy, which has side effects of mouth ulcers and gut inflammation.”

EnteroBiotix CEO Dr James McIlroy with Robin Railton, site director at EnteroBiotix. Picture: Mark Liddell Photography

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