A European innovative project on microbiota transplantation

An Italian-French collaboration between the academic world and the pharmaceutical industry, which was born with the aim of deepening the innovative technique of intestinal microbiota transplantation, in particular for Chronic Kidney Disease: with these premises, phase 1 of the project winner of the national call PON “Innovative PhDs with industrial characterization” has just started.

The project involves the Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation section of the DETO Department of the University of Bari (directed by Prof. Loreto Gesualdo), the University of Lyon and the pharmaceutical company Farmalabor, and focuses on issues increasingly present in the scientific literature and the media: the importance of the intestine as a “second brain” and the relationship between microbiota and quality of life.

Many diseases, including Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), present an alteration (dysbiosis) of the intestinal ecosystem. The project will treat this alteration with the procedure of “microbiota transplantation” or “bacteriotherapy”, a clinical strategy that is being successfully tested globally but has never been applied to CRM: a sample of bacterial flora of a healthy individual will be transferred to animal models of Renal Disease, to achieve a restoration of intestinal balance and reduce the risk of progression and complications.

Another innovative element will be the experimentation of a new transplant procedure: the result of this experimentation will be a minimally invasive oral administration procedure, using purified microbiota capsules, which could replace – and improve – the traditional invasiveness of current procedures.

And it is in this perspective that the fruitful synergy between universities and companies is inserted: the medium-term objective will be the realization on an industrial scale (entrusted to Farmalabor) of a pharmaceutical product that could also be used for other diseases that alter the bacterial flora, such as diabetes, obesity and autoimmune diseases.

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