uBiome Launches Innovation Challenge to Advance Microbiome Clinical Outcomes Research

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The leader in microbial genomics announces partnership with Medstro in a call for microbiome research studies focused on clinical outcomes.

“The microbiome presents a key longitudinal association outcome for clinical research studies of novel and existing therapeutics. It’s an opportunity to study effects of medications as well as lifestyle changes such as diets, supplements, and environments with greater precision.” - Mike Hoaglin, MD

Submissions to the uBiome Clinical Outcomes in Microbial Genomics Innovation Challenge are now open, welcoming applications from healthcare providers, students, trainees, and researchers worldwide. Winning proposals will receive grants which include access to uBiome’s clinical testing kits, as well as microbiome sequencing and bioinformatics services.

“uBiome is thrilled to further expand our collaborations in the clinical space as we underscore the microbiome’s impact on clinical decision-making,” said uBiome’s CEO, Jessica Richman, PhD. “Given the microbiome’s association with nearly all aspects of health, discovering new therapeutic targets for areas of high disease burden should motivate a wide diversity of interesting projects.”

The microbiome is made up of trillions of microorganisms living in and on varying sites of the body that may impact every organ system, and the availability of at-home clinical microbiome testing makes robust clinical research of the microbiome more accessible. Microbes in the gut may play a critical role in human health and have been linked to many chronic health problems, including autoimmune, cardiovascular, metabolic, neurologic, and mental health disorders. The vaginal microbiome plays an important role in vaginal and cervical health, transmission of disease, and in pregnancy and childbirth. Other body sites such as the skin, mouth and nose, have specialized microbial ecosystems as well.

uBiome currently offers two clinical tests: SmartGut™, the world’s first sequencing-based clinical microbiome test, which identifies microbes in the gut for patients with chronic gut conditions such as IBS, Crohn’s Disease, and ulcerative colitis as well as microbes affecting weight and metabolism for any patient. SmartJane™ is the first sequencing-based women’s health screening test, which genotypes all 19 clinically relevant strains of HPV, identifies four common STDs, and surveys more than 20 vaginal microbes associated with bacterial vaginosis and other conditions. These at-home tests reveal pathogens as well as clinical disease biomarkers based on the relative abundances of bacterial DNA detected in the sample.

“The microbiome presents a key longitudinal association outcome for clinical research studies of novel and existing therapeutics. It’s an opportunity to study effects of medications as well as lifestyle changes such as diets, supplements, and environments with greater precision,” said Mike Hoaglin, MD, Clinical Lead in Medical Affairs at uBiome.

Selected applicants may have the opportunity to work directly with uBiome’s research team and access raw data. Applicants at all career levels and research expertise are welcome to apply as individuals or teams. Ideas can be submitted at challenge.ubiome.com before the initial October 31, 2018 deadline, or in a series of quarterly deadlines to be announced.

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About uBiome
Founded in 2012, uBiome is the leader in microbial genomics. The Company’s mission is to advance the science of the microbiome and make it useful to people. uBiome combines its patented proprietary precision sequencing™ with machine learning and artificial intelligence to develop wellness products, clinical tests, and therapeutic targets.

uBiome’s commercial products include SmartGut™, the world’s first sequencing-based clinical microbiome test, which identifies microbes in the gut for patients with chronic gut conditions such as IBD, IBS, Crohn’s Disease, and ulcerative colitis; SmartJane™, the first sequencing-based women’s health screening test, which genotypes all 19 clinically relevant strains of HPV, identifies four common STDs, and surveys more than 20 vaginal microbes associated with bacterial vaginosis and other conditions; and Explorer™, a health and wellness product to understand the role that food and lifestyle can play in wellness.

uBiome’s platform has been used by hundreds of thousands of consumers, patients, and doctors and more than 200 research institutions around the world, including the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), US National Institutes of Health (NIH), Harvard University, Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California, San Francisco, Oxford University, and the University of Sydney.

Since its launch, the company has received widespread recognition including CNN 10: Startups to Watch, the IVY Technology Award, CNN Future 30, and was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Healthcare in 2016 and in Data Science in 2018, as well as a Technology Pioneer from the World Economic Forum in 2018. For more information, visit http://www.uBiome.com.

About Medstro
Medstro launched their service in April 2014 and has focused on building "communities of communities"--including grass-roots micro-communities created by the users themselves and industry-sponsored innovation communities that encourage collaboration between physicians, researchers, innovators and industry to improve healthcare. Medstro includes as its customers several of the largest medical societies in the country, major industry players such as Google and Boston Scientific, and prestigious publications such as the New England Journal of Medicine. Medstro's active online challenges can be viewed at http://www.medstro.com/challenges.

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