Biotech spin-off brings together microbes and genomics

Tuesday, 13 March, 2018


Biotechnology company Microomics has been spun off from Barcelona’s Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) and the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), with a speciality in metagenomics — the complete genomic analysis of a sample.

There may be as many as one trillion species of microbes on Earth, with human beings estimated to have 10 times more bacteria than cells in our bodies. Microbes are thus of the utmost importance for our health and life on Earth, and the scientific community has been studying them with interest for some time.

Microomics uses genomic microbiome analysis to help researchers identify and study microbes with applications in the fields of health, livestock agriculture and ranching, industry and research. As explained by the company’s co-founder and chief scientific officer, Toni Gabaldón, “Our mission is to turn the scientific knowledge on metagenomics and the microbiome into practical solutions for our clients, and society.

“We hope to transform genomic data into knowledge that enables the improvement of aspects such as health, quality of life or the environment.”

By basing its solutions on metagenomics, Microomics is able to better understand the client’s sample and establish hypotheses on the interactions among the various species found there. The company has already built a strong portfolio of clients and projects in different areas of activity, including:

  • Health — detection of lung cancer/oral implantology.
  • Livestock farming — reduction or elimination of antibiotic use.
  • Food industry — improvement in the processing chain.
  • Environment — substitution of chemical fertilisers/biodiversity.
  • Research — obesity treatment/monitoring of patients in the ICU.

In addition to these activities, the spin-off conducts numerous projects in which microbes may reveal even more, seeking custom-designed solutions for every need their clients present. The Microomics team works hand in hand with their clients to jointly engineer each project.

“This project is a broad-based project,” said Microomics co-founder and CEO Pedro González. “Microbes and genomics are our starting point from which to reach truly innovative solutions that will allow us to tackle areas of interest in a number of industries.”

Image credit: Microomics.

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