A mutual microbiome plan
LEXINGTON, Mass.—Kaleido Biosciences Inc. recently reported plans to develop Microbiome Metabolic Therapies (MMT) to enhance the effects of cancer immunotherapies under a new research collaboration with the Institut Gustave Roussy in France.
Kaleido’s MMTs are designed to modulate the metabolic output and profile of the microbiome by driving the function and distribution of the organ’s existing microbes. Kaleido will be working closely with Drs. Laurence Zitvogel and Guido Kroemer at Gustave Roussy to identify and characterize MMT candidates with the potential to improve cancer immunotherapy efficacy by increasing the number of patients who respond to inhibitors of immune checkpoints. Though checkpoint inhibitors have shown some efficacy in treating certain cancers, patient response is not universal.
“For Kaleido, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with Drs. Laurence Zitvogel and Guido Kroemer, world-leading scientists at Gustave Roussy—the largest cancer center in Europe and a premier immuno-oncology institution. They have published seminal research on the microbiome’s role in checkpoint inhibitor response in cancer patients and are an ideal partner for this collaboration,” Dr. Johan van Hylckama Vlieg, chief scientific officer of Kaleido Biosciences, tells DDNews.
“In our work at Gustave Roussy, we will soon be able to predict with a high degree of accuracy which patients with certain cancers may respond to immunotherapies, such as checkpoint inhibitors, based on specific features of their intestinal microbiota,” noted Zitvogel, scientific director of the Gustave Roussy immunotherapy program and director of the INSERM Tumour Immunology and Immunotherapy Laboratory. “We are excited by Kaleido’s unique approach to the microbiome and believe it has the potential to provide cancer patients with new options to optimize and personalize treatment.”
“This collaboration marks Kaleido’s entry into immuno-oncology, an area with significant opportunity to help advance the treatment and care of patients with cancer,” van Hylckama Vlieg says. “We are very excited to collaborate with Gustave Roussy—a pioneer in cancer immunotherapy and research into the relationship between the microbiome and cancer.”
Initial data obtained with these models indicate translational potential and suggest that they may serve as a critical step prior to clinical testing, as well as serve as powerful tools for delineating underlying mechanisms of action.
“We know from data published by researchers at Gustave Roussy that patients who respond to treatment and those who don’t have distinct microbiome compositions. The goal of this collaboration is to improve outcomes in patients who don’t respond to checkpoint inhibitor treatment by changing their microbiome composition and metabolic output,” explains van Hylckama Vlieg. “Working closely with Gustave Roussy scientists, Kaleido aims to identify and characterize MMT candidates with the potential to improve cancer immunotherapy efficacy by increasing the number of patients who respond to inhibitors of immune checkpoints such as CTLA-4 and PD-1/PD-L1.”
“Kaleido will employ its proprietary screening platform to analyze intestinal microbiome samples from checkpoint inhibitor non-responder patients and identify MMTs that induce changes in the microbial communities associated with favorable response to treatment. Gustave Roussy researchers will then use their advanced preclinical models to identify those compounds that stimulate the targeted therapeutic responses,” he continues.
Kaleido’s initial MMT candidates are targeted glycans that are orally administered, have limited systemic exposure and are selectively metabolized by enzymes in the microbiome. The company utilizes its human-centric discovery and development platform to study MMTs in microbiome samples in an ex-vivo setting, followed by advancing MMT candidates rapidly into clinical studies in healthy subjects and patients.
“There is a growing body of research that links the microbiome to cancer and the effectiveness of therapies. While immune checkpoint inhibitors have significantly improved the treatment of certain cancers, studies have shown that overall, the majority of cancer patients do not respond to checkpoint therapy. We are excited that through this collaboration we will identify MMT candidates with the potential to improve patients’ response to treatment and to be working with pioneers in the field in Gustave Roussy,” van Hylckama Vlieg concludes.