NEWS DETAIL

GSK Taps At-Home Test Maker Viome Life Sciences to Research Cancer, Autoimmune Diseases

Viome Life Sciences, maker of at-home tests for gut and immune system health, is expanding its partnership with global pharma company GlaxoSmithKline to research and potentially develop interventions for some cancers and autoimmune diseases.


The collaboration will allow the companies to study the connection between the gut microbiome and some chronic diseases, like autoimmune disorders. Viome and GSK originally partnered in 2019 to research chronic disease prevention, also focused on gut health.


"Most chronic disorders are treated with drugs targeting symptoms and not causes. Viome's unique mRNA technology and state-of-the-art artificial intelligence platform have the potential to find the root causes of specific chronic disorders and cancers. With that critical information and the unique expertise of GSK, we aspire to one day cure these diseases and not just manage the symptoms," Viome CEO and founder Naveen Jain said in a statement.


"We are excited to expand our collaboration with GSK to develop preventative and therapeutic measures for chronic diseases and cancers."


WHY IT MATTERS


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates six in 10 Americans have at least one chronic disease, like heart disease, cancer or diabetes.


More than 23.5 million Americans have an autoimmune disorder, according to the Office on Women's Health out of HHS. Women are one group at higher risk of developing autoimmune diseases.


"A better understanding of the interactions between the immune system and microbiome – which have been shown to have a significant impact on human health – has been part of GSK's innovation strategy," Rino Rappuoli, head of vaccine research and development at GSK, said in a statement. "By combining our robust expertise in immunology with Viome's unique technology with its proprietary mRNA analysis and artificial intelligence platform, we look forward to uncovering additional key insights into chronic diseases."


THE LARGER TREND


Viome received FDA breakthrough device designation for its mRNA analysis tool and artificial intelligence platform that detects early signs of oral and throat cancers in May.


The company was founded in 2016 and raised $15 million in Series A funding in August 2017.


The collaboration between GSK and Viome will be led by Dr. Emmanuel Hanon, formerly head of vaccine research and development at GSK, who was hired by Viome in April.


Other companies in the microbiome testing space include Vivante Health and DayTwo.