Chr. Hansen expands strain library for next generation probiotics

Research on the human microbiome has exploded in recent years revealing it to be of major importance for human health and disease, creating opportunities for development of next generation probiotics. That is why Chr. Hansen has now expanded its strain library of potential microbiome modulating strains.

“As part of its Nature’s No. 1 strategy Chr. Hansen has a strategic focus on the human microbiome. We can announce that we are making significant progress in this area. From over 1000 recently screened strains from the human microbiome, we have identified a subset of 100 that can be developed for a broad array of health indications associated with gastrointestinal, immune and metabolic health,” explains Johan van Hylckama Vlieg, VP Microbiome and Human Health Innovation.

Adding a well-documented collection of novel strains from microbiome species, such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Eubacterium hallii that are widely regarded as primary candidates for next generation probiotics is a major milestone.

These strains will be used both for Chr. Hansen’s internal innovation efforts, and made available to external partners and customers looking to accelerate development of next generation probiotics.

Solving safety and industrialization challenges

 Developing microbiome strains as next generation probiotics for Food, Supplement, Infant and Pharma applications, presents unique challenges. Many of the relevant species have no history of commercialization. They were until recently described as difficult to cultivate and require radically new techniques for cultivation and production.

The strains in the Chr. Hansen strain collection have passed rigorous safety assessments and are amendable for production and formulation into products in an industrial setting.

“Our safety assessment includes screening for absence of antibiotic resistance and virulence factors. We also looked for their ability to grow in industrial media and sensitivity to oxygen. And we also screened for the ability of strains to impact the immune system,” explains Gemma Henderson, Senior Scientist.

Academic partnerships

The work has been carried out in partnership between Chr. Hansen and three academic institutes – Gut Health, The Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen; Host-Microbe Interactomics, Wageningen University and Research; and Medical Microbiology, UMCG, University of Groningen.

“Now we have a shortlisted selection of strains that we believe will be of major interest to innovators in the microbiome space, who are looking to develop next generation of probiotics and live biotherapeutics. It is our goal to help our customers and partners move these new documented strains from the lab to the clinic,” concludes Gemma.

Microbiome Discovery & Development Congress

 At the Microbiome Discovery & Development Congress in Berlin this week novel strategies in microbiome research, the challenges of commercializing the microbiome and the latest therapeutic trends will be discussed.

Providing more insights into the approach taken to create Chr. Hansen’s expanded strain library, Johan will present a keynote lecture entitled Mining human gut microbial strain collections for next generation probiotics.

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