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March 21, 2022

Eat your intestines strong

Simple supplement to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal infections from coli bacteria. In addition to saving people from unpleasant experiences, supplements can be used in the fight against diarrhea, which is globally one of the most common causes of infant death. The Innovation Fund invests DKK 11 million in the ColiShield™

coli bacteria can cause gastrointestinal infections, which can be difficult to treat. Antibiotics are currently the only effective treatment, but it can be problematic for two reasons. First, antibiotics weaken the gut’s healthy bacteria, and second, the use of antibiotics in general contributes to increased antibiotic resistance in society.

In the future, disease-causing E. coli can be disarmed before infection occurs, by consuming a simple food product and thus protecting against disease and diarrhea.

This is the goal of a new project, ColiShieldTM, which is developing protein-based supplements, called Virulence Inactivating Proteins (VIPTM), that can bind to disease-causing bacteria and thus render them harmless.

The Danish biotech company Bactolife, in collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark and the University of Southern Denmark, is responsible for the development of a food ingredient that can be added to foods – e.g., infant formula – and thus strengthen the healthy intestinal microbiome to reduce the risk of diarrhea.

In contrast to the dietary supplements already on the market, the exact effect of VIP proteins on virulence factors will be known

– i.e., the ability of bacteria to penetrate the host and establish infection.

” We will be able to document very precisely how the virulence is blocked. It allows us to target our supplement to very specific disease-causing bacteria by mimicking the same types of protective proteins found in breast milk. No other products can do that today. ColiShieldTM will be a sustainable product that can help protect us from infection. It is to the benefit of both the individual and society, as further development of antibiotic resistance is limited”, says Sandra Wingaard Thrane, CSO of Research at Bactolife.

The ColiShieldTM project is based on research from the Ablacto+ project, in which Bactolife developed a product that is added to feed for piglets, thus reducing the risk of weaning diarrhea caused by E. coli bacteria. The E. coli bacteria that infect the pigs are incredibly similar to those that make people sick. In this way, experiments with Ablacto+ have demonstrated how VIPs can reduce the risk of E. coli diarrhea in the best model we have for humans, namely the pig. This paves the way for the ColiShieldTM project.

The ColiShieldTM Grand Solutions project is a collaboration between Bactolife and researchers from the Technical University of Denmark and the University of Southern Denmark. The project consortium has years of experience in antibody technology, development of resistance to antibiotics and E. coli infection models. Overall, it ensures that ColiShieldTM becomes a product that can make a real difference in Denmark and the rest of the world.

Contact

Facts

  • The Innovation Fund’s investment: DKK 11 million
  • Total budget: DKK 14.8 million
  • Duration: 4 years
  • Official title: “ColiShieldTM: A food supplement for precision-balancing the gut microbiome and reducing risk of E. coli infections”

Bactolife ApS is a Danish biotech company that develops products based on antibody technology to reduce the risk of stomach infections, and which mimics functional proteins in breast milk. The products strengthen the intestinal microbiome and reduce the virulence of disease-causing bacteria.

The Technical University of Denmark’s Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine has research activities across industrial biotechnology, microbiology, and protein science. Professor Lone Gram and Professor Andreas Hougaard Laustsen-Kiel are participating in the ColiShieldTM project.

University of Southern Denmark Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has research activities within basic molecular and biochemical processes, as well as cellular interactions in living organisms. Associate Professor and Head of Department Jakob Møller-Jensen participates in the ColiShieldTM project.


Spis dine tarme stærke

Simpelt kosttilskud skal mindske risikoen for mave-tarm-infektioner fra colibakterier. Ud over at spare folk for ubehagelige oplevelser kan kosttilskud bruges i indsatsen mod diarré, der globalt er en af de hyppigste årsager til småbørnsdød. Innovationsfonden investerer 11 mio. kr i projektet ColiShieldTM.

coli bakterier kan give mave-tarm-infektioner, som kan være svære at behandle. Antibiotika er i dag den eneste virksomme behandling, men det kan være problematisk af to grunde. Dels svækker antibiotika samtidig tarmens sunde bakterier, og dels bidrager brugen af antibiotika generelt til øget antibiotikaresistens i samfundet.

I fremtiden kan sygdomsfremkaldende E. coli afvæbnes, inden infektion finder sted, ved at indtage et simpelt fødevareprodukt og på den måde beskytte imod sygdom og diarré.

Det er målsætningen i et nyt projekt, ColiShieldTM, som udvikler proteinbaserede kosttilskud, kaldet Virulens Inaktiverende Proteiner (VIPTM), der kan binde sig til sygdomsfremkaldende bakterier, og på den måde uskadeliggøre dem.

Det er den danske biotek-virksomhed Bactolife, der i samarbejde med Danmarks Tekniske Universitet og Syddansk Universitet står for udvikling af en fødevareingrediens, der kan tilsættes fødevarer – fx modermælkserstatning – og dermed styrke det sunde tarmmikrobiom, så risikoen for diarré reduceres.

I modsætning til de kosttilskud der allerede findes på markedet, vil man kende VIP-proteinernes præcise effekt på virulensfaktorer – altså bakteriernes evne til at trænge ind i værten og etablere infektion.

”Vi vil meget præcist kunne dokumentere, hvordan virulensen blokeres. Det giver os mulighed for at målrette vores kosttilskud mod meget specifikke sygdomsfremkaldende bakterier ved at efterligne samme typer af beskyttende proteiner, som findes i modermælk. Det er der ingen andre produkter, der kan i dag. ColiShieldTM bliver et bæredygtigt produkt, der kan være med til at beskytte os imod infektion. Det er både til gavn for den enkelte og for samfundet, idet yderligere udvikling af antibiotikaresistens begrænses” siger Sandra Wingaard Thrane, CSO of Research hos Bactolife.

ColiShieldTM projektet er baseret på forskning fra Ablacto+ projektet, hvori Bactolife udviklede et produkt, der tilsættes foder til smågrise, som dermed reducerer risikoen for fravænningsdiarré forårsaget af E. coli bakterier. De E. coli bakterier, der rammer grisene, minder utroligt meget om dem, der gør mennesker syge. På den måde har forsøg med Ablacto+ demonstreret, hvordan VIP’er kan reducere risiko for E. coli diarré i den bedste model, vi har for mennesket, nemlig grisen. Dermed er vejen banet for ColiShieldTM projektet.

ColiShieldTM Grand Solutions projektet er et samarbejde imellem Bactolife og forskere fra Danmarks Tekniske Universitet og Syddansk Universitet. Projektkonsortiet har årelang erfaring inden for antistofteknologi, resistensudvikling over for antibiotika og E. coli infektionsmodeller. Samlet sikrer det, at ColiShieldTM bliver et produkt, der kan gøre en reel forskel i Danmark og resten af verden.

Kontakt

Fakta

  • Innovationsfondens investering: kr. 11 mio. kr.
  • Samlet budget: 14,8 mio. kr.
  • Varighed: 4 år
  • Officiel titel: “ColiShieldTM: A food supplement for precision-balancing the gut microbiome and reducing risk of E. coli infections”

Bactolife ApS er en dansk biotek-virksomhed, der udvikler produkter baseret på antistofteknologi til reduktion af risikoen for maveinfektioner, og som efterligner funktionelle proteiner i modermælk. Produkterne styrker tarmmikrobiomet og reducerer virulens af sygdomsfremkaldende bakterier.

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet Institut for Bioteknologi og Biomedicin har forskningsaktiviteter på tværs af industriel bioteknologi, mikrobiologi og proteinvidenskab. I ColiShieldTM projektet deltager professor Lone Gram og professor Andreas Hougaard Laustsen-Kiel.

Syddansk Universitet Institut for Biokemi og Molekylærbiologi har forskningsaktiviteter inden for basale molekylære og biokemiske processer, samt cellulære interaktioner i levende organismer. I ColiShieldTM projektet deltager Lektor og Institutleder Jakob Møller-Jensen.

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