Second Genome Presents Preclinical Data Demonstrating the Effects of Microbial-Derived Metabolites in Autism Spectrum Disorder

August 10, 2021, BRISBANE, Calif.

BRISBANE, Calif. – August 10, 2021 – Second Genome, a biotechnology company that leverages its proprietary platform sg-4sight to discover and develop precision therapies and biomarkers based on novel microbial genetic insights, presented data from the largest analysis of microbiome function in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as well as preclinical activity of microbially-derived metabolites predicted to be reduced in ASD, during an oral poster presentation entitled, Predicted Metabolites from Multiple Microbiome Sequencing Datasets Modulate Autism Spectrum Phenotype in Mice, at the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology Annual Meeting 2021 held from August 8-11, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Todd DeSantis, co-founder and Vice President, Informatics at Second Genome, will also present these data in an additional oral presentation session, New Modes of Natural Product Bioactivity, today at 10:00 a.m. CT.

Second Genome assembled the largest meta-cohort of ASD to date which includes both data from published studies as well as a large longitudinal study. The analysis identified secondary bile acid metabolism as being altered in ASD with two bile acids, Glycodeoxycholate (GDC) and Ursodeoxycholate (UDC), predicted to be reduced in children with ASD. Preclinical treatment in an animal model with these metabolites demonstrated increases in expression for genes related to neurotransmitter receptors as well as post synaptic signal transmission. Furthermore, analyses of ASD- relevant behavioral domains demonstrated increased habituation exploration and decreased anxiogenic behavior in animals treated with the metabolites.

“Gut microbiome dysbiosis is associated with central nervous system disorders such as ASD,” said Todd DeSantis, co-founder and Vice President, Informatics at Second Genome and co-author of the poster. “By applying prediction algorithms and meta-analysis to a large set of microbiome sequencing data, we were able to identify metabolites that influence behavior in mice. We believe that this approach could accelerate our understanding of ASD, identify distinct patient subsets that characterize this heterogenous disorder and catalyze the drug discovery process in ASD that has remained limited to date. In addition, this approach has the potential to be translated to other disease areas.”

The research was conducted by the Microbiome, Metabolites and the Mind (M3) Consortium comprised of Second Genome, Stanford University and Oregon State University. The poster presentation will also be made available on the Company’s website at

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R44DA043954. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About Second Genome

Second Genome, a biotechnology company that leverages its proprietary tech platform to discover and develop transformational precision therapies and biomarkers through clinical development and commercialization based on novel microbial genetic insights. We built a proprietary microbiome-based drug discovery and development platform with machine-learning analytics, customized protein engineering techniques, phage library screening, mass spec analysis and CRISPR, that we couple with traditional drug development approaches to progress the development of therapies and diagnostics for wide-ranging diseases. Second Genome is advancing deep drug discovery and biomarker pipelines with precision therapeutics and biomarker programs in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and cancer, with the lead programs in IBD and cancer expected to enter clinical development in 2022. We also collaborate with industry, academic and governmental partners to leverage our microbiome platform and data science. We hold a strategic collaboration with Gilead Sciences, Inc., utilizing our proprietary platform and comprehensive data sets to identify novel biomarkers associated with clinical response to Gilead’s investigational medicines. We also hold a strategic collaboration with Arena Pharmaceuticals to identify microbiome biomarkers associated with clinical response for their lead program in gastroenterology, etrasimod.

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