Second Genome Launches Study of the Relationship Between Microbiome and Central Nervous System in Autism Spectrum Disorders

October 3, 2017,

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., October 3, 2017 – Second Genome, Inc., a leader in the development of novel medicines through innovative microbiome science, and the Stanford University School of Medicine have received a Fast-Track 1R44 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to study the relationship between the human microbiome and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) as a model to be generalized to other central nervous system diseases, such as substance use disorders. As part of the multi-year collaboration, entitled “Microbiome, Metabolites and the Mind (M3),” Second Genome will develop a commercial platform to discover and validate key microbial bioactives that have a potential therapeutic impact on ASDs.

“Published studies have shown considerable correlative findings that indicate the human microbiome may influence pathology in autism spectrum disorders, so this partnership will aim to find a conclusive link demonstrating a causal role or understanding of the specific bioactives that create differences,” said Karim Dabbagh, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at Second Genome. “If we find evidence of a causal relationship, the discoveries would be profound and could enable us to advance therapeutic discovery efforts.”

The collaboration will recruit cohorts of children with ASDs and their neuro-typical siblings under the age of 8 to perform a clinical, genetic and metabolomics longitudinal analysis of their microbiome and identify bacterial metabolites that may be responsible for differences between the two groups. A series of in vivo studies will then be run by collaborators at Stanford University using these bioactives to validate discoveries as the start of drug discovery research. To learn more about the study, interested parties should visit

“By bringing together our expertise and advanced platform capabilities in microbiome analysis with our collaborators’ expertise in autism spectrum disorders for this distinct study, we expect to bring deeper insights into the field,” said Glenn Nedwin, Ph.D., MoT, president and chief executive officer of Second Genome. “This is another example of Second Genome’s microbiome and machine learning platform extension, for which we were recently recognized as Technology Pioneers by the World Economic Forum.”

About the SBIR Program

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in federal research and development to establish commercially viable products or services. Through a competitive process completed in 2016, NIH-NIDA awarded Second Genome a 2017 SBIR the Fast-Track grant to enable the company to rapidly expand their current microbiome discovery platform into central nervous system disorders. By including qualified small businesses in the nation's R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States maintains its entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.

About Second Genome

Second Genome’s mission is to transform lives with medicines developed through innovative microbiome science. Second Genome has built a novel platform for microbiome drug discovery. Second Genome has completed more than 400 microbiome studies, analyzing more than 75,000 samples, for internal R&D, as well as for external partners across government, academia, pharmaceutical, nutrition and industrial companies. The team leverages its microbiome analysis platform with its partners’ specific expertise to generate insightful findings that can accelerate research programs by elucidating the role of the microbiome in human health conditions, agriculture, animal health and other industries. The company has established a pipeline of therapeutic products for the treatment of inflammation and metabolic diseases.

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Media Contact

Ian Stone

Canale Communications