Microbiome Funding And Growing Government Interest
Government Investment in Microbiome Research
Microscopic studies carried out on the healthy human body have shown that the human cells are exceeded by bacterial cells — about one to ten. The effects of these associations of human-associated microbes upon human development, physiology, immunity, and nutrition have been unknown because of the lack of study in this area. However, this has changed with the recent establishment of the NIH Common Fund Human Microbiome Project (HMP) which has the objective of generating research resources that will enable an extensive understanding of the human microbiota and an in-depth analysis of the part they play in human health and disease. The traditional approach to the study of microorganisms is as cultures in the laboratory — a petri dish and lots and lots of love. 🙂 Nevertheless, the majority of human-associated microbial species have not been segregated successfully in the laboratory. Apparently, the growth of microorganisms is dependent upon some specific conditions or objects that are yet to be matched in the laboratory.
This quest to understand microorganisms has led to a new research field called metagenomics (this was made possible with breakthroughs in DNA sequencing technologies). This allows a complete and thorough examination of microbial communities without the need for cultivation.
The NIH Human Microbiome Project is only one of several international efforts that are designed to leverage on a large scale. The long-term objective is to increase the data available for researchers to access and understand a healthy person’s association of health and diseases through microbes.
In May 2016, the Obama administration in collaboration with the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) launched a new national program to study microbiomes found in humans and across different ecosystems. The White House also announced the beginning of an interdisciplinary National Microbiome Initiative (NMI). This initiative will further improve the research efforts of the federal government to understand the function of microorganisms that live on or in living species.This initiative follows several calls from scientists to unravel the secrets of the microbes that have an enormous impact on people’s health and the environment. This new initiative will be supported by the federal government and more than 100 private organizations including the University of Michigan, the BioCollective, LLC, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Sources of fundings:
National Microbiome Initiative: $121 Million + $922 Million
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: $100 Million
National Institute of Health: $20 Million
National Science Foundation: $16 Million
National Aeronautics: $12.5 Million
Department of Agriculture: $15.9 Million
Microbiomics is considered as one of the big trends in the Biotech industry. This is because of the potential to use the bacteria present in human gut to cure people. The Venture Capital industry is now interested in this new field of research, prompting Seventure Partners, the second largest Biotech Venture capital company and the world’s first €100 million funds focused on Microbiome, to open operations in France. With the help of financial groups, private investors, as well as big industrials, Seventure has launched the new fund it calls Health for Life Capital.
Disclaimer: The above article is sponsored by Thyrve, the world’s first Gut Health Program that incorporates microbiome testing and personalized probiotics to ensure a healthier gut, happier life, and a brighter future.