Top Medical Professionals Gather to Tackle Infant Gut Dysbiosis

Experts From Across the US Tackle the Increased Prevalence of Infant Gut Microbiome Disruption, and the Role of Dysbiosis in Short and Long Term Health Outcomes

DAVIS, Calif., June 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Evolve BioSystems, makers of  Evivo® baby probiotic, today announced that it has convened an Infant Health Advisory Board drawing from the medical and scientific research community's foremost experts in infant health. The advisory board held its initial meeting on May 29, discussing how to restore the beneficial bacteria essential to establishing a functional infant microbiome, and reduce the risk of short and long-term health challenges.

During this initial and subsequent meetings, the Infant Health Advisory Board will examine how to safely and effectively reintroduce critical bacteria into babies' microbiomes. The members of the Infant Health Advisory Board include:

  • Dr. Chris Damman, MD, Senior Program Officer, Global Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Assistant Professor, Gastroenterology, University of Washington

  • Dr. Benjamin Gold, MD, Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Children's Center for Digestive Healthcare, Atlanta

  • Dr. Jae Kim, MD, PhD, Neonatologist and Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego; Clinical Professor, Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego

  • Dr. Brian Scottoline, MD, PhD, Neonatologist, Associate Professor, Pediatrics, Oregon Health Science University

  • Dr. Erin Hamilton Spence, MD, Neonatologist, Cook Children's Hospital, Fort Worth; Medical Director, Mother's Milk Bank of North Texas

  • Dr. Karl Sylvester, MD, Professor, Surgery and Pediatrics, Associate Dean Maternal Child Health Research, Stanford University

"The problem of dysbiosis manifests itself in many different ways. It is vital to bring together researchers and clinicians from multiple disciplines," said Dr. Erin Hamilton Spence, MD, Neonatologist, Cook Children's Hospital, Fort Worth, and Medical Director, Mother's Milk Bank of North Texas. "We each see the problems from our own lens. The Evolve BioSystems Infant Health Advisory Board provides a forum for data exchange and idea generation. Based on our initial meeting, I'm extremely excited about our potential to shed light on very perplexing and increasingly pervasive health problems for babies in the US and beyond."

The key beneficial bacteria, B. infantis, is clinically proven to reduce the abundance of gut pathogens, such as Clostridium and E. coli, that are associated with increasingly common autoimmune conditions such as asthma, allergies, eczema and type-1 diabetes. Although B. infantis was historically present in the infant gut, important modern medical practices such as antibiotics, formula feeding and C-sections have prevented the natural transfer of beneficial bacteria from mothers to babies at birth. Indeed, recent studies found that up to nine out of 10 babies born in the US were missing B. infantis in their gut microbiome early in life. 

"Leading practitioners in neonatal and pediatric science and medicine are beginning to understand that dysbiosis, characterized by perturbation of the normal intestinal microbiome and disruption of the symbiotic relationship between the host and the associated microbes, is increasingly common among children in the US," said Dr. Benjamin Gold, MD, Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Children's Center for Digestive Healthcare, Atlanta. "This disruption of the normal microflora can then result in development of diseases, in particular, auto-immune, inflammatory and allergic diseases which are becoming a genuine public-health crisis. Fortunately, we have made great strides in figuring out methods to restore the infant gut to its normal healthy state. It's up to us to build on these powerful discoveries and begin to apply this technology to a number of different disease paradigms to determine if disease development risk can be reduced successfully by restoration of the normal infant microbiome."

About Evolve BioSystems
Evolve BioSystems, Inc. is a privately-held microbiome company dedicated to developing the next generation of products to establish, restore, and maintain a healthy gut microbiome. Evolve recently completed a $40M Series C round of funding co-led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Horizons Ventures, the venture division of the Li Ka Shing Foundation. Evolve is a spin-out from the Foods for Health Institute (FFHI) at the University of California, Davis and builds on more than a decade of research into understanding the unique partnership of the infant gut microbiome and breast milk components. Having led to the development and commercial launch of products to resolve newborn gut dysbiosis, including Evivo® EVC001 for infants, Evolve's discovery platform is now being applied to solving gut dysbiosis throughout the human and animal life cycle. In addition to the landmark proof-of-concept trial, Evolve is undertaking further clinical studies to build out its suite of microbiome-based solutions.

Tracy Shafizadeh