By Michael Fitzhugh
Heeding growing interest in the sway of tiny microorganisms over human health, climate change and other critical issues, a new National Microbiome Initiative launched by the White House kicked off Friday with a commitment of $121 million in federal dollars and more than $400 million in financial and in-kind contributions from private stakeholders to support interdisciplinary research, platform technology development and new applications in the young field.
Despite the potential, he said regulatory development will be a key piece of moving the field forward, insofar as drug developers are concerned. “Currently, the regulatory agencies haven’t really had to deal with a lot of microbiome products in therapeutics. We believe that pharma, us, and entrepreneurs all have similar questions about how regulators will handle [this field]. We’re taking a stance there, and hope to be a first mover in helping to shape that.”