A multiplexed advanced screening platform to explore how small molecules can shape the human gut microbiota

Since its announcement in 2019, Kaleido Biosciences, a clinical-stage healthcare company with a chemistry-driven approach is exploring the potential of the microbiome to treat disease and improve human health. 

The company has built a proprietary product platform to enable the rapid and cost-efficient discovery and development of novel Microbiome Metabolic Therapies (MMT). By using a multiplexed advanced screening platform with microbiome communities from both healthy and patient populations, Kaleido is aiming to identify a lead compound from their library, consisting of more than 1,500 MMTs that can bring advantages to certain bacteria in the microbiome community in order to develop novel and diverse pharmacological strategies. 

About Microbiome Metabolic Therapies (MMTs)

MMTs are designed to modulate the metabolic function of the microbiome and create a dynamic and heterogeneous environment in which gut microorganisms proliferate. Kaleido is screening a broad pipeline of MMT candidates with the potential to forage the human gut microbiome and improve diseases conditions. The company is starting by unmasking those MMTs that are orally administered such as glycans, dietary carbohydrates that play a key role in shaping the structure and function of the microbiota. In the gastrointestinal GI tract, microbial fermentation transforms these glycans into short chain fatty acids, which serve as nutrients for gut epithelial cells. Moreover, selective consumption of these nutrients can influence which microbial groups proliferate and persist in the gastrointestinal tract, pointing to MMTs as a non-invasive strategy to balance microbiome species. Kaleido is studying MMTs in microbiome samples in an ex vivo setting, followed by advancing MMT candidates rapidly into clinical studies in healthy subjects and patients.

About the pipeline 

Research initially focused on genetic diseases including urea cycle disorder and nervous system disorders such as hepatic encephalopathy. Since then, Kaleido is now expanding the pipeline of candidates to restore gut-immune homeostasis, treat ulcerative colitis, and explore applications in two COVID-19 trials and immuno-oncology.

Katharine Knobil, M.D., chief medical officer and head of research & development at Kaleido explained: “There is a strong correlation between microbiome profiles and successful treatment with checkpoint inhibitors

Recently the company has also announced a collaboration with Janssen Biotech, Inc. to explore MMTs screening technologies to prevent childhood-onset of atopic, immune, and metabolic disorders. The collaboration is expected to grow and Janssen will fund the additional costs. 

Our expertise in the microbiome combined with our unique platform positions us well to continue advancing our understanding of how glycans modulate the infant gut microbiome to support a developing immune system.” said Johan van Hylckama Vlieg, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Kaleido.
Many aspects of the mechanisms underlying the connection between human health and gut microbiome modulation remain unknown and encompass some of the most intriguing questions in microbiome research. The application of platform screening for MMTs selection designed by Kaleido represents a cutting-edge technology to modulate the microbiota and improve human health.