Lund, Sweden, December 21, 2021. Swedish women’s health company Gedea Biotech today announced that it has received funding for a research project with the Centre for Translational Microbiome Research at Karolinska Institutet (KI), for its lead product, pHyph, a vaginal tablet for topical treatment of bacterial vaginosis (BV). The project goal is to better understand the microbial etiology of bacterial vaginosis (BV) and factors associated with successful, antibiotic-free treatment with pHyph.
Bacterial vaginosis is one of the most common vaginal infections for women in childbearing age. The symptoms are very disturbing and affect many aspects of daily life. Serious medical complications involve increased risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases, infections correlated to intrauterine devices and pre-term birth. With today’s options in treating bacterial vaginosis, women are exposed to antibiotic treatments that impact the vaginal microbiome, often leading to recurrent infections.
The Centre for Translational Microbiome Research, CTMR at Karolinska Institutet, and Gedea are already working together in a joint microbiome analysis project, with material from Gedea’s previous studies. Gedea and CTMR have now been granted funding of SEK 2.5 million from The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) for an Industrial Doctoral Program. In the new project, called The microbiome response to treatments of bacterial vaginosis, the microbiome of 150 patients with bacterial vaginosis will be analyzed before, during and after treatment with pHyph. In addition, the effect of antibiotic treatment on the vaginal microbiome and resistome as well as recurrence will be studied. CTMR’s research aims to describe the microbiome in healthy women of reproductive age as well as in pregnant women and investigates associations between the vaginal microbiota and the risk for diseases, such as infections and pre-term birth. The centre has a broad technical, biological, clinical and epidemiological platform for studying complex microbiological communities in human materials.
“We are happy to see that SSF acknowledges microbiome research as an important field. The doctoral program is an opportunity to push the front line of scientific knowledge further. By understanding BV on the microbial level, we can have a more thorough approach to both the cause and the cure of it,” says Gedea CEO Annette Säfholm. “It is important to fully understand the impact of pHyph on the microbiome for further development of pHyph into new indications, such as pre-term birth. “
“We are only beginning to understand how the vaginal microbiome is intimately linked to women’s health. In this PhD-project, advanced sequencing techniques coupled with computational pipelines, machine learning techniques and mathematical modelling will be used to determine the microbial etiology of bacterial vaginosis (BV) and factors associated with successful, antibiotic-free treatment with pHyph”, says Ina Schuppe Koistinen, Associate Professor, CTMR.