AstraZeneca taps microbiome specialist Seres for I-O support

Source: Fierce Biotech, April 2019

AstraZeneca has teamed up with Seres Therapeutics to explore whether microbiome therapeutics can increase the efficacy of cancer immunotherapies. The deal will see AstraZeneca pay $20 million to collaborate with Seres and test SER-401 in combination with its oncology assets.

Seres firmed up its interest in using microbiome therapeutics in immuno-oncology when it teamed up with the MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy to test SER-401 in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor. The collaboration was underpinned by evidence that the gut microbiome influences how patients with melanoma respond to anti-PD-1 drugs.

In AstraZeneca, Seres has found a partner willing to support further explorations of that idea. Seres will receive $20 million from AstraZeneca in three installments over the next two years, plus money to cover research costs it incurs in the course of the collaboration. Shares in Seres rose 25% following news of the deal.

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