Saint-Prex, Switzerland – 5 December 2016 - Ferring Pharmaceuticals and MetaboGen AB today announced a multi-year research collaboration aimed at developing a microbiome-based product to prevent and treat intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), a potentially serious liver disorder which affects around 400,000 pregnant women annually.
The genes and gene products produced by the trillions of microorganisms that live in the human body are collectively known as the microbiome. Current research into the microbiome is changing perspectives on health and disease, but there are still many factors that are not yet properly understood.
MetaboGen AB has developed and patented a concept for how patterns of bacteria in the gut could affect ICP. Ferring will fund an exploratory study to demonstrate this concept and define differences in the microbiome of healthy women and women with a history of IPC. Recruitment of patients for the 18-month study will begin on December 6, 2016 and will be conducted in cooperation with the Women's Clinic in Lund, Sweden.
"Ferring is one of the few pharmaceutical companies actively investing in research and development of new products in the obstetrics field,” said Alan Harris, Senior Vice President, R&D, Ferring Pharmaceuticals. “This collaboration demonstrates Ferring's commitment to advancing research in the microbiome field in order to identify and develop innovative treatments that work on the body’s own terms, in this case for mothers and babies.”
“ICP is an indication in need of new and effective products that can improve both quality of life and quality of treatment for patients,” said Sara Malcus, CEO, MetaboGen AB. “We are very pleased to partner with a scientific leader in women’s health, and look forward to working with Ferring in this exciting area.”
About Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP)
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) is a potentially serious liver disorder that can develop in pregnancy. IPC affects about 400,000 pregnant women annually and is a recurrent disease: 70% of women who have been diagnosed with ICP during their first pregnancy will be affected again in following pregnancies. In addition to itching, which may be intense and very uncomfortable for the mother, there are links between ICP and preterm birth and gestational diabetes.
About Ferring Pharmaceuticals
Headquartered in Switzerland, Ferring Pharmaceuticals is a research-driven, specialty biopharmaceutical group active in global markets. The company identifies, develops and markets innovative products in the areas of reproductive health, urology, gastroenterology, endocrinology and orthopaedics. Ferring has its own operating subsidiaries in nearly 60 countries and markets its products in 110 countries. To learn more about Ferring or its products please visit www.ferring.com.
About MetaboGen AB
MetaboGen is a research-driven company with a focus on the microbiome and its impact on health, based in Gothenburg, Sweden. The company was founded based on break through science from the labs of Professor Fredrik Bäckhed (University of Gothenburg) and Professor Jens B Nielsen (Chalmers University of Technology). Since 2011, MetaboGen develops products based on advanced mapping of the intestinal microflora composition. In 2014 BioGaia AB invested in the company. MetaboGens technology along with more than 25 years of experience in the development of probiotics from BioGaia, provides the company with a unique opportunity to develop the next generation of microbial products. For more information see www.metabogen.com
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