【Press Release】Metagen Therapeutics and Juntendo University Establish a Joint Research Course, the ‘Microbiome Regeneration Course’

April 12, 2022 Yamagata, Japan—Metagen Therapeutics Inc. (President and CEO: Taku Nakahara; Headquarters: Yamagata, Japan; hereinafter referred to as ‘MGTx’) and Juntendo University (President: Hajime Arai; Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan) have established a joint research course, the ‘Microbiota Regeneration Course’ on April 1, 2022.

In recent years, it has become evident that the imbalance of the microbiome population , or dysbiosis is related to numerous diseases affecting many around the world. As a result, Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) has gained significant attention as a bacteriological treatment with minimal side effects.

The Enterobacteriology Research Group at Juntendo University, Department of Gastroenterology is working on an effective FMT method for Ulcerative Colitis (UC), leading the world in clinical research on FMT combined with antibiotic therapy, or Antibiotic FMT (A-FMT). *1. Clinical study data of approximately 200 UC patients revealed that the therapeutic effect was associated with changes in the intestinal microbiome, and that the combination with antibiotic therapy contributed to an effective FMT procedure.

*1 Juntendo University, Department of Gastroenterology, Enterobacteriaceae Research Group

As FMT is widely being recognized as a new treatment method, MGTx plans to develop a system for manufacturing and to provide a safe solution to dysbiosis which has been progressing for some time, and plans to further implement it in advanced medicine beginning in 2022.

Objective and research themes of the joint research course
The main theme for this joint research course is the clinical elucidation of FMT and its clinical application research, while we aim to implement safe and effective A-FMT during clinical practice.

FMT is not only a promising therapeutic method, but it also functions extremely effectively as a basis for discovering new drug discovery seeds by analyzing the relationship between the colonization of effective microbiota species in FMT patients and the success of the treatment. Therefore, we also plan to conduct drug discovery research with the ultimate goal of ‘radical treatment of UC’, which could not be achieved through conventional drug therapy.

Dr. Shinji Fukuda is appointed as a visiting professor
For this fundamental research, we invited Dr. Shinji Fukuda, a specially appointed professor at Keio University’s Institute for Advanced Biosciences to analyze the colonization mechanism of useful bacteria in FMT, and to explore the various angles. In this joint research course, we plan to promote fundamental research with the goal of regenerating the intestinal microbiota. Dr. Fukuda is a top researcher in the intestinal microbiota research field, aiming to develop effective treatment methods for microbiome therapeutics.

Joint Research Course Description
■ Course Name: Microbiome Regeneration Course
■ Course Location: Juntendo University, Graduate School of Medicine
■ Duration: April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2025 (3 years)

■ Research system:
・Professor Akihito Nagahara (Juntendo University, Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Gastroenterology)
・Associate Professor Dai Ishikawa, Director and CMO of Metagen Therapeutics (Juntendo University School of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Department of Gastroenterology)
・Visiting Professor Shinji Fukuda (Director and CSO of Metagen Therapeutics)
・Joint Researcher Taku Nakahara (President and CEO of Metagen Therapeutics)
・Joint Researcher Takuji Yamada (Director and CTO of Metagen Therapeutics)

■Theme examples:
・Research on safe and effective clinical implementation of FMT with A-FMT
・Exploratory research on the colonization mechanism of useful bacteria in FMT
・Research on methods to improve therapeutic effects through high-quality clinical evaluation and collection of intestinal microbiota data
・Analysis of the relationship between the colonization of effective intestinal microbiota species and the success rate in FMT patients
・Clinical research and drug discovery research for diseases related to dysbiosis (gastrointestinal diseases, immune-related diseases, CNS diseases, etc.)

About Metagen Therapeutics
Metagen Therapeutics (MGTx) is a university-launched venture business based out of Yamagata, Japan. The company was founded in 2020 with the mission of “continuing to fulfill the wishes of patients through microbiome science”. MGTx has been accelerating its exploratory research on intestinal microbiomes and its symbiotic relationship with various diseases such as cancer, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, aiming to create social impact through medical care and drug discovery. The company is led by top researchers in microbiome science from academic institutions including Juntendo University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and Keio University. For more information, go to https://dc2qp915hyvdf.cloudfront.net or follow us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/metagentx/. For press inquiries or investor inquiries, please email: pr@dc2qp915hyvdf.cloudfront.net.

About Juntendo University
Based on the philosophy of “Fudan Zenshin – Continuously Moving Forward,” Juntendo University values its academic motto of “Jin – I exist as you exist” and stands by the “Sanmu Shugi” which does not discriminate against school, nationality, or gender. As comprehensive medical graduate university consisting of 7 faculty departments, 3 graduate schools and 6 affiliated hospitals, Juntendo is promoting social impact and human resource development on an international level through education, research, medical care, and liberal arts. For more information, visit the Juntendo University website: https://www.juntendo.ac.jp/