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AZ joins with Seres to research role of gut microbiome in cancer

March 12, 2019 / Richard Staines

AstraZeneca has announced an immuno-oncology collaboration with US biotech Seres Therapeutics, which will focus on increasing understanding of the gut microbiome in order to increase the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy. The tie-up is based on preclinical and clinical evidence suggesting that the composition of the gastrointestinal microbiome affects the clinical response to checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy. Evidence supports the hypothesis that modification of the microbiome may improve clinical outcomes with this kind of therapy. Under the collaboration, researchers will evaluate microbiome-based approaches as a predictor for which patients may respond best to certain cancer immunotherapies. Seres’ investigational microbiome therapeutic SER-401 may also be studied in combination with AstraZeneca compounds targeting various cancers.