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Eligo Publishes in Nature a Landmark Study That Unlocks Genome Editing of Bacteria in the Gut

Eligo Bioscience
2024-07-10 23:00 1538

PARIS, July 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time, a team of scientists at Eligo has demonstrated it was possible to genetically modify bacteria with nearly 100% efficiency directly in the gut of animals. This work provides scientists with a novel strategy to better understand how genes from our microbiome drive disease, as well as creates new opportunities for the development of innovative therapies. (Read the study here / the full press release here).

Eligo Publishes a Landmark Study in Nature That Unlocks Genome Editing of Bacteria in the Gut - Artwork Credit for the image: Radhika Patnala Sci-Illustrate
Eligo Publishes a Landmark Study in Nature That Unlocks Genome Editing of Bacteria in the Gut - Artwork Credit for the image: Radhika Patnala Sci-Illustrate

The microbiome, composed of billions of bacteria, is essential to our health. However, we are discovering that bacterial genes are implicated in a growing number of diseases: from bacterial peptides that trigger autoimmune diseases to virulence factors that contribute to inflammation, tumor formation, and neurodegenerative diseases.

"What Eligo has achieved shows that it's now possible to make specific changes to the DNA of bacteria in the gut, similar to how scientists have been editing human genes to investigate or treat genetic disorders," said David Bikard, cofounder of Eligo Bioscience and researcher at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.

Eligo demonstrated the ability to engineer a bacteriophage-derived capsid containing a synthetic DNA payload encoding a base-editor system. After oral administration to mice, the capsid delivered the payload with extreme efficiency to target bacterial populations residing among the hundreds of bacterial species in the mouse gut. Remarkably, the system could precisely inactivate antibiotic resistance genes by creating single-base pair mutations in the corresponding genes. When targeting E. coli strains, the technology modified the target gene in over 90% of the bacteria, reaching up to 99.7% in some cases.

Jesus Fernandez, Eligo VP of Technology and a senior author of the study, highlights how "this achievement is the culmination of eight years of work by the team at Eligo Bioscience and represents a paradigm shift in microbiome research. This leap forward provides Eligo with a unique edge within the industry to develop novel genetic medicines, as well as to find novel targets. We finally now have a tool to interrogate the role of specific bacterial genes in health and disease."

About Eligo Bioscience

Eligo is pioneering in microbiome in-vivo gene editing and is advancing a highly differentiated pipeline of precision medicines to address unmet medical needs in immuno-inflammation, oncology, and infectious diseases.

For more information: https://eligo.bio/

Contact: DUPORTET Xavier; xavier.duportet@eligo-bioscience.com

Source: Eligo Bioscience
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