Functional microbiome analysis

Efficient drug development

Determine microbiota composition in human subjects, and allow for accurate measurement and monitoring of microbiomes in various stages of scientific research to accelerate advancement and discovery. TNO has a wide range of available tools to increase understanding of the impact and interaction of the microbiome on human health. This is key to determining how various diseases change the body, and how various drugs can impact that change.

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Increased understanding

TNO allows the analysis of microbiota compositions on samples from a broad range of origins and matrices. We use techniques such as amplicon sequencing, whole genome sequencing (WGS), metagenomics, RNAseq and qPCR.
TNO can also support every aspect of management of these large data sets. From data handling and storage, statistical and biological analysis and interpretation to advanced machine-learning tools to identify patterns in the complex data. Furthermore, our platforms allow for high-throughput ex-vivo analysis of shifts in microbiota upon exposure to compounds, ingredients or other changes. This can accelerate understanding of drug interactions and metabolism, and the relation between microbiome and diseases such as IBD and colon cancer, which will lead to further understanding of how shifts in the microbiome impact health.

Accurate measurement

Through TNO’s intestinal screening model (i-screen), biotech companies can measure and track the effects of compounds metabolised by human intestinal microbiota. The i-screen platform allows safe and accurate in vitro testing of the microbiota’s potential to metabolise various drug candidates. Testing can be conducted at the earliest stages of drug development, so adverse effects or metabolites can be identified in pre-clinical stages, thereby saving time, effort and costs.
Each i-screen can simultaneously be exposed to a variety of different conditions, thereby allowing multiple compounds or concentrations to be tested at once. In all cases, potential metabolites can be identified in the earliest stages of development, with human accuracy, without the need for regulatory processing.

Next-level testing

TNO assists in the better understanding of host microbe interactions and offers host platforms to analyse interactions with the intestinal epithelium. This includes the use of intestinal organoids: stem-cell-based structures that contain all cell types in an in vitro system, just as they appear in vivo. In addition, InTESTine, a new in vitro intestinal model using ex vivo intestinal epithelium, uses healthy porcine or human tissue to model and predict drug absorption in human subjects. InTESTine allows the simultaneous study of multiple intestinal segments (duodenum, jejunum, ileum & colon) to determine regional differences in absorption under controlled conditions. This enables screening for toxicity (safety), early immune responses, and/or endocrine responses to potential drug therapies at the pre-clinical stage.

Toxicology analysis

TNO can also put its microbiome expertise to work to conduct extensive toxicology testing and analysis. Using a variety of techniques and platforms, we can help investigate the interplay between microbiota and host, and the extent to which certain microbiota have a toxic effect on the human body.

Webinar 'What's new in in vitro microbiome and ex vivo intestinal models for gut health'

On November 9th 2021 the webinar 'What's new in in vitro microbiome and ex vivo intestinal models for gut health' took place. You are able to register and review the webinar via the video below. The webinar takes 50 minutes.

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Lifestyle disease models

Preclinical and early clinical trials can make the entire drug development process more effective and efficient. But only when the outcomes of those early trials accurately translate to later clinical ones.

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In-vitro platforms