Case Study

FAME

Fecal Autologous Microbiota Expansion

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Background

The microbiota company MaaT Pharma develops secured and standardized microbiotherapeutic solutions (fecal transfer) for enteropathic dysbiosis

Challenges

  • The selection of healthy donors remains tedious and time-consuming in order to prevent the possible risk of transmission of diseases and/or pathogenic microorganisms.
  • When applicable, autologous fecal microbiota transfer may represent an alternative with simpler regulatory requirements. However, treatments such as chemotherapy or antibiotic therapy affect the gut microbiota. It is therefore essential to collect stool samples prior to treatment.
  • MaaT Pharma was interested in expanding the fecal microbiota via an appropriate fermentation process capable of generating additional amounts of biomass under GMP conditions.

Solution

A joint PhD project was developed between BIOASTER and MaaT Pharma.
The main objectives of the project were:

  • to set up a system allowing the study of many culture conditions in parallel,
  • to develop analytical tools for a simple and fast monitoring of the evolution of ecosystems during the fermentation process,
  • to expand the fecal microbiota in vitro while preserving the richness and diversity of bacterial populations.

Results

  • A micro-fermentation system was acquired and put into operation for the project,
  • Flow cytometry, combined with different types of staining methods, has been developed as an analytical tool to characterize the products of the fermentation process
  • Flow cytometry was also used to select, sort and culture strictly anaerobic strains of interest,
  • Fermentation conditions including specific parameters and compounds allowing the expansion of the fecal microbiota have been validated.

Outlook

  • This project has allowed BIOASTER to develop its industrial skills in fermentation and to build a base of equipment necessary for this activity (micro-fermenters and medium-sized fermenters).
  • It was also an opportunity to develop Gram labeling methods adapted to flow cytometry. These methods are an essential tool for the analysis and/or sorting of commensal bacteria. They can potentially be used for new industrial collaborations.
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