Drugs that mimic gut bacteria

Small-molecule drugs and biologics that alter the microbiome or its interaction with host tissues are poised to change the face of microbiome therapeutics.
Published in Microbiology

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Although I still spend a lot of my time commissioning and editing Reviews for Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, I've started doing some news writing for them, too. In this article (sorry, it's a couple of months old but still valid!), I write about what I think of as the 'third wave' of microbiome-focussed therapies. First, there was fecal microbial transplantation. Then, there were the live biotherapeutics --which still account for the majority of pharma/biotech activity in the microbiome area -- that aimed to restore particular types of bacteria. But now drug developers are making and testing therapeutics that mimic the beneficial metabolites produced by our gut residents. Really interesting stuff.

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