Discovery of a Causal Link Between the Microbiome and Food Allergy Portends Live Microbial Therapies for this Disorder

June 24, 2019 20:00 UTC

Research led by Consortia TX Founders underscores the potential for microbial therapeutics for food allergies


BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Consortia TX (the “Company”), a leading early-stage biotherapeutic company developing novel microbial therapies, today announced the publication of comprehensive research into the potential for microbial therapies to prevent and treat human disease and allergies, in the peer-reviewed medical journal, Nature Medicine. The article describes major advances in the science behind the Company’s effort to develop a therapy to treat and prevent food allergies. The article links changes in the microbiome to food allergies in children and overviews the development of consortia of therapeutic microbes that completely suppressed this disorder in a preclinical animal model with detailed analysis of the related host mechanisms underlining the therapeutic effect. Titled "Microbiota Therapy Acts Via a Regulatory T Cell MyD88/RORγt Pathway to Suppress Food Allergy,” the article details extensive research carried out by Talal Chatila M.D., MSc., Lynn Bry M.D., Ph.D., Rima Rachid M.D. and Georg Gerber M.D., Ph.D., the scientific team behind the Company. Consortia TX is now building on the findings in this article to develop its proprietary microbial therapeutic, CTX-944.

“We are thrilled to publish breakthrough research and data focused on the causal links between the microbiome and food allergy, which demonstrated that a live biotherapeutic product has the potential to suppress responses to allergens at the cellular level,” said lead author Talal Chatila, MD, MSc., Co-Founder of Consortia TX, who, with first co-authors Azza Abdel-Gadir, Ph.D., and Emmanuel Stephen-Victor PhD and their colleagues at the Boston Children’s Hospital, undertook the genetic, immunological and microbial therapeutic studies on germ-free and allergy-prone mice and on immune cells of food allergic human subjects.

Food allergies continue to grow in incidence and severity driving a need for better therapeutic approaches given the substantial economic and psychological impacts they have on patients, families and the overall healthcare system. Based on this extensive research, the scientific founders of Consortia TX believe that our microbiome, comprised of an assortment of microorganisms that live ‘in and on us,’ have the ability to fundamentally change cell types to suppress reactions, ultimately training the immune system away from an inflammatory state.

In a clinical study at Boston Children’s Hospital led by Dr. Rima Rachid, an advisor to Consortia TX and co-senior author on the paper, the team carried out serial sampling of the gut bacteria of infants and young children with food allergy and compared results to those of healthy control subjects.

“Our studies confirmed the presence of changes in the gut bacteria of food allergic subjects which, when tested in mouse models, were found critical for the development of disease,” said Dr. Rachid. “The research thus established a link between the disruption of a healthy gut microbiome and the development of food allergy.”

In parallel, co-senior author Dr. Lynn Bry led a team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital that completed the microbiologic portions of the study. “We identified culturable human-origin bacteria that modulate the immune system to become tolerant to food allergens,” said Dr. Bry.

Co-first author Dr. Georg Gerber at Brigham and Women’s Hospital designed computational algorithms to define the temporal dynamics of the microbiota and its relationship to food allergy. “By examining microbiomes at many time-points rather than just one snapshot, our team was able to narrow down the commensal bacteria that may prevent food allergy from hundreds to a short list that we then developed into therapeutic consortia,” said Dr. Gerber.

About Consortia TX, Inc.

Consortia TX, Inc. is a biotherapeutic company developing therapies based on microbes and microbial products to prevent and treat human diseases. The Company’s lead asset, CTX-944, is a live biotherapeutic product for the reversal of food allergy. Consortia TX is built on extensive research conducted by research teams at the Boston-based laboratories of Children’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, both of which are affiliated with Harvard Medical School. Consortia TX has an exclusive global license to intellectual property from the two hospitals related to two microbial therapies detailed in the Nature Medicine paper. The Company was founded in 2017 by Lynn Bry (M.D., Ph.D.), Georg Gerber (M.D., Ph.D.), and Talal Chatila (M.D., M.Sc.) who have equity in Consortia TX and/or receive compensation for their roles, in addition to certain members of the research team. To learn more, please visit


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Source: Consortia TX, Inc.

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