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Microba accelerates Cancer Program with new leads

Microba is excited to announce the identification of three therapeutic leads for the Company’s Immuno-Oncology program significantly earlier than expected. This will enable preclinical animal studies to be brought forward to the end of calendar year 2022 which is approximately 12 months ahead of schedule.

Microba’s Cancer Immuno-Oncology program is targeting the discovery and development of a microbiome therapy to improve response rates in cancer patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy, with a specific focus on Melanoma and Lung cancer patients. The new therapeutic leads that will be trialled in pre-clinical models later this year have been discovered through a recently completed, comprehensive meta-analysis of newly available data with Microba’s proprietary MCP microbiome profiling technology.

Further supporting Microba’s Immuno-Oncology program is the Company’s partnership and awarded grant together with the Garvan Institute of Medical Research (Garvan), targeting the collection of data on thousands of cancer patients over the coming years to establish a leading cancer microbiome dataset. This is expected to broaden the number of cancers for which Microba can identify a clear microbiome signature.

The combination of the new leads and the partnership with Garvan will enable Microba to save over US$1m of expenditure on discovery activities which were scheduled to take place over the next 18 months under the ORBIT-m study.

The leading existing ICI therapies from Merck and BMS generate in excess of $20bn1 in sales per year despite 42-80%2 of patients not responding to therapy. Development of an adjuvant therapy that can improve response rates to ICI therapies could have a significant impact on cancer treatment globally and represents a substantial commercial opportunity.

Commenting on the accelerated oncology strategy, Microba CEO Dr. Luke Reid said, “This acceleration of our oncology program is really pleasing. The discovery of these leads enables us to advance our timelines for this program.

Developing an effective adjuvant therapy for cancer patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors has the potential to impact outcomes for millions of patients globally.

Dr. Luke Reid, Microba Chief Executive Officer

Chief Scientific Officer Associate Professor, Lutz Krause said, “Through applying Microba’s proprietary technology, we have uncovered therapeutic leads sooner than we had anticipated. We are excited to progress these into pre-clinical models and ultimately into human clinical trials pending the results. This exemplifies the power of Microba’s data-driven Therapeutic Platform, which enables the rapid discovery and development of these novel monoclonal microbial therapies.”

About Garvan Institute of Medical Research

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research brings together world-leading researchers and clinicians, collaborating locally and globally, to improve human health. Our mission is to harness all the information encoded in our genome to better diagnose, treat, predict and prevent disease. From the individual patient with rare disease, to the many thousands affected by complex, widespread illness, we are pioneering discoveries across diseases that have the deepest impact on our community.


  1., et al. (2020).
  2. Response rate varies based on the ICI therapy and tumor type: Leonardi et al. (2020). International Journal of Oncology. DOI: 10.3892/ijo.2020.5088, Wolchok et al. (2017). New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1709684, Jiang et al. (2020). Frontiers in Immunology. DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.00339, Pasello et al. (2020). Cancer Treatment Reviews. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2020.102031