SeqBiome will specialise in the analysis and DNA sequencing of micro-organisms within the microbiome.

UCC Innovation has announced the eagerly anticipated launch of SeqBiome, a biotech spinout from APC Microbiome Ireland, SFI Research Centre, University College Cork and Teagasc (the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority).

SeqBiome provides high-quality and interactive sequencing and microbiome analysis for academia and industry, offering firms a deeper insight into how food and ingredients interact with the most microscopic organisms in our digestive systems.

The company’s offering is comprehensive and spans the microbiome project continuum with an aim of creating meaningful microbiome insights for clients across a number of industries.

SeqBiome was started by Dr Marcus Claesson, professor Paul Cotter and Brad Wrigley, who combined have over 40 years of published microbiome experience, with over 350 papers and 23,000 citations.

“Without these in-house capabilities, commercial organisations struggle to derive meaningful and reliable information about their products and their impact on microbiomes”

SeqBiome joins a list of fellow spinout enterprises from the APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Centre, which was founded at UCC in 2003 as the Alimentary Pharma-biotic Centre.

“For many pharma, nutrition, sport, agriculture and healthcare companies, microbiome analysis is a complex and time-consuming process,” said Dr Marcus Claesson.

“It requires the support of expensive sequencing facilities, significant computational power and an extensive expertise in bioinformatic analysis and interpretation. Without these in-house capabilities, commercial organisations struggle to derive meaningful and reliable information about their products and their impact on microbiomes.”

Dr Claesson added that he is looking forward to providing a range of “world class services” to the company’s clients.

“After a short few months, our existing clients and partners already include Nestle, MARS Petcare, Atlantia, Alpinia Institute, Microbion and the PrecisionBiotics Group. We’re building a vastly experienced team with a shared vision to help these and other organisations develop world class products that make a real difference to microbiome health,” he said.

“Bringing this capability in sequencing and bioinformatic analysis of microbiome to commercial reality is a tremendous milestone for those involved in this research area within APC”

The microbiome is the collection of microorganisms, mainly bacteria, fungi, viruses, and their genes in a particular environmental niche. The role of the microbiome is being increasingly linked with human health and wellbeing and has immense biotechnological potential.

Professor Anita R. Maguire, vice president of research and innovation at UCC, said; “The launch of SeqBiome as the most recent spinout company to emerge based on the excellent research underway within APC is very welcome – bringing this capability in sequencing and bioinformatic analysis of microbiome to commercial reality is a tremendous milestone for those involved in this research area within APC.”

UCC innovation director, Dr Rich Ferrie added; ‘’UCC Innovation has played a key role in the launch of new UCC spinout SeqBiome Ltd and I am delighted to see the establishment of this exciting company which has seen first-class research and state-of-the-art capability transition into a commercial reality with endless possibilities for growth and expansion.”

Previous start-ups to come out of the APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Centre include Atlantia Food Clinical Trials, Artugen Therapeutics, 4D Pharma Cork and PrecisionBiotics.

Pictured: Dr Marcus Claesson (CEO), Brad Wrigley (executive director), director UCC innovation Dr Rich Ferrie and Seqbiome CTO Prof Paul Cotter.

By Stephen Larkin

Published: 24 July, 2020

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