DuPont partners with APC Microbiome on US$7m infant health research project

USA – DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences has joined forces with APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Center (APC), a pioneer in the field of microbiome science, to launch a four-year joint research project that aims to develop microbiome-based solutions for infants.

The new research project, dubbed the ‘Missing Microbes in Infants born by C-section’ (MiMIC) project, will be jointly funded by DuPont and Science Foundation Ireland’s Spokes program to the tune of €6.3 million (US$7.04 million).

This is the second collaboration between DuPont and APC. The two partners will focus on developing microbiome-based solutions to establish a healthy microbiome in early life to facilitate the long-term health of individuals.

The project will also be supported by The DuPont Human Microbiome Venture (HMV), which the company launched in 2017 to spearhead the development of next-generation microbiome solutions for improved health and wellness.

Staying at the forefront of biotechnology innovation, HMV is designed to accelerate product development to complement its existing portfolio and build on DuPont’s strong expertise in prebiotics, microbes, proteins and enzymes.

Martin J. Kullen, Director of Probiotics and Microbiome Research at DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences said, “We are honored and privileged to be working with APC with the help of funding from Science Foundation Ireland on solutions and products that are key to our human microbiome platform.

“By working with the world’s leading microbiome research institute in APC, we look forward to providing critical health offerings for key unmet needs around maternal and infant health as well as solutions for cognitive health and well-being.”  

“We are delighted to further develop our relationship with DuPont for the benefit of human health,” said APC Director Prof. Paul Ross.

“APC Microbiome Ireland is a global leader, particularly in mother-infant and gut-brain areas of microbiome science, and this collaboration further strengthens our capabilities for advancing infant health and development.”

The population of bacteria in the gut develops over the first four years of life and is influenced by a variety of factors including antibiotic use and nutrition, such as breast milk components as well as the birth mode.

While the gut microbiome plays a key role in human health, Dupont says that infant gut microbiota can be severely depleted in infants born by C-section or exposed to antibiotics. However, breastfeeding can help improve microbiota composition.

The project will leverage APC’s expertise in identifying the gut microbes in early life that play an important role in the short- and long-term health of individuals.

Prof. Catherine Stanton, Project Leader at APC Microbiome Ireland said that this will help to develop strategies to balance the microbiota following antibiotic exposure or C-section birth mode.

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