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Microba to work with leading researchers to expand our access to the human microbiome funded by the Medical Research Future Fund

Microba Life Sciences (ASX: MAP) is pleased to announce a new collaboration with researchers from QUT’s Centre for Microbiome Research (CMR) to isolate thousands of previously uncultured microorganisms from the human body.

The human microbiome represents a rich biological resource, but our ability to isolate, grow and characterise most microorganisms in the laboratory remains limited. This is a major obstacle in microbiome research, as culturing individual species is critical for dissecting microbial mechanisms underpinning human health and disease.

In a project funded by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), the team will overcome this obstacle by building Australia’s first atmosphere-controlled, high-throughput cultivation platform, which integrates novel methods in spectral flow cytometry and metagenomics. This innovative approach will be applied to a diverse range of microbial communities throughout the human body, including the gut, skin, vaginal and oral microbiome, resulting in the world’s most comprehensive biobank of its kind – the Australian Human Microbiome Biobank (AHMB).

“The Australian Government is supporting innovative research to help improve the health of all Australians.”

The Hon Mark Butler MP

Establishment of the platform will be led by CMR Director Professor Gene Tyson from QUT, and human microbiome samples will be analysed using Microba’s world-leading metagenomic technology to identify species of interest for targeted research.

Microba’s Professor Trent Munro, Dr Paraic Ó Cuív and Dr Nicola Angel are also investigators on the project, where they will be uniquely positioned to identify new research and development opportunities for the company and our research partners. 

Professor Tyson said, “We expect this biobank to not only help expedite the research of our commercial partners but to facilitate numerous opportunities for researchers studying the human microbiome in Australia and worldwide.”

Professor Munro added, “The establishment of the AHMB represents an enormous opportunity for Microba, providing a valuable resource to advance our therapeutic programs in inflammatory bowel disease, immuno-oncology and autoimmune diseases, and future potential programs.”

Our previous research has identified new microorganisms associated with these and a range of other human diseases, and the Australian Human Microbiome Biobank will significantly enhance our ability to translate these findings into new therapies.”

Professor Trent Munro, Senior Vice President of Therapeutics at Microba.

About the grant

This project will build Australia’s first purpose-built human microbiome biobank. This will help researchers study the diverse ways microorganisms influence our health and how they might be used to treat diseases. These discoveries will open the door to new clinical solutions for major unmet health challenges that are influenced by the human microbiome, ranging from inflammatory and autoimmune diseases to mental health and infections. Read the full release from the Minister here