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Ground-Breaking Microbiome


Babies who cannot access breast milk are one step closer to benefitting from a pioneering microbiome supplement that will provide them with the crucial microbes required for healthy development. That’s after the healthcare startup BoobyBiome collaborated with technology innovation centre, CPI. to scale-up their cutting-edge bacterial supplement. 

This week (28th May) the organisations have announced that the collaboration has brought the supplement closer to commercial reality. 

The supplement contains live bacteria identified and sourced from the microbiomes of donated breast milk that can boost the immune systems of babies whose mothers cannot breastfeed. 

The product can be added to formula milk, or breast milk for babies who require additional support to improve gut health and develop their immune systems. 

The first year of life is critical to the development of a babies’ gut microbiome, and breast milk is one of the main factors influencing the type of microorganisms present.  

Studies show that breastfeeding is associated with higher levels of bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which have many benefits such as modulating the immune system, providing nutrients, protecting against infection and reducing the risk of allergic diseases.  

The microbiome is a key component of health in early life, but also has long term health implications. A lack of specific good bacteria in early life has been linked to increased risk of inflammatory or allergic diseases such as asthma and inflammatory bowel disease developing later in life. 

CPI developed, optimised and scaled the bacterial fermentation process for manufacturing BoobyBiome’s consortium-based product, which included a co-culture method containing 6 different strains of bacteria. 

With only 34% of babies receiving some breast milk at 6 months and one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe, according to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), BoobyBiome’s supplement could change the landscape for babies’ and infants’ gut health. 

In clinical use, the supplement could also help to reduce the risk of life-threatening gut inflammation in babies born prematurely at a crucial time for immune system development.  

Dave Tudor, Managing Director of Pharma, HealthTech and Quality at CPI, said: “BoobyBiome’s revolutionary microbiome supplement could prove to be a real game-changer in the development of babies immune systems, particularly for those who cannot access breast milk.  

“The UK has one of the lowest rates for breastfeeding in Europe, and we know some of the reasons behind that are because some mothers don’t have the option available to them, so this supplement has the potential to alleviate that stress and anxiety.” 

“This was a really exciting project for us to work on, the impact this could have in terms of improving the health of babies is huge.  In lending our knowledge and expertise to this unique company we have brought it one step closer to a commercial reality.” 

Lydia Mapstone, CEO of BoobyBiome: “Imbalances in gut health have been shown to contribute to a growing number of autoimmune diseases in children. The microbiome in breast milk is a key factor for establishing good gut health in babies, but we know breastfeeding is not possible for all women. We believe our solution that replicates the breast milk microbiome, could be a real game-changer.

“By working with CPI, we were able to get the data we needed to advance our product to the next stage of development, moving towards the final step of our preclinical programme. We will continue to work with CPI to get to that point and look forward to launching our product so that babies and infants can benefit.”

Yasmin Karsan, mother to Aya said: “Thinking back to my first child, I actually remember not feeling good enough and thinking that I was somehow doing a disservice to my child by not being able to breast feed. The last hurdle after growing them and giving birth to them is feeding them, so not being able to do that was a lot to deal with.  

“The fact that BoobyBiome thought about adding this good bacteria to help provide babies and infants with their gut health when they can’t access breast milk is just absolutely fantastic.” 

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