Bugs into Drugs: Beyond Fecal Transplants
Read about the drug company: Vedanta
“Vedanta is a little different. It focuses on isolating specific bacterial strains that scientists believe can have a specific biological effect, and making those into “rationally defined” drugs. That’s different than a fecal transplant, in which physicians take feces loaded with incredibly diverse bacteria from one patient and transplant it into another patient whose gut microbiome has been hijacked by bad bugs like C. diff. The fecal transplants have been quite effective, but aren’t scalable in a traditional pharmaceutical industrial sense. A certain amount of serendipity is clearly involved as well, since there are so many bugs in the fecal transplants doing many things. Scientists can’t even begin to fully understand the range of interactions with so many variables.