The microbiome is the trillions of microorganisms – bacteria, fungi, and viruses – that live in and on the body. Although it makes complete sense that these would play a factor in gastrointestinal diseases, such as Crohn’s and colitis, it’s less obvious that it would play a role in anything ranging from lung diseases to neurodegenerative diseases. But increasingly, evidence is suggesting it is, and a lot of investors are throwing money into the field in hopes it will come up with the next big blockbuster.

Leeds, UK-based 4D Pharma and Merck/MSD are developing Live Biotherapeutics vaccines, a new class of medicines.

Less than one month after filing for bankruptcy, uBiome is shutting the Bay Area microbiome company’s doors and selling off assets.

Locus Biosciences inked a collaboration and license deal with J&J’s Janssen Pharmaceutical to develop precision antibacterial therapies based on CRISPR-Cas3-enhanced bacteriophage.

Emulate won a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, to be used to send one of the Boston-based company’s Organ-Chips to the International Space Station in March 2019.

Emboldened by 2017’s back-to-back FDA approvals of the first drugs that use genetically engineered patient immune cells – Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) to treat leukemia and Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) to combat large-B-cell lymphomas – immunotherapy researchers are continuing to revolutionizing cancer treatment. But uneven patient response rates and the side effects often associated with immunotherapies are putting high priority on accurately identifying which patients would benefit most from particular treatment options.

The tenth annual Dealmakers’ Intentions Study from Syneos Health Consulting, an industry-leading consulting firm specializing in the biopharmaceutical industry, concludes that the dealmaking environment will continue to accelerate with buyers becoming more selective in ensuring they have the most appropriate assets and corresponding deals in place.

Bristol-Myers Squibb will deploy Sirenas’ drug discovery platform against certain undisclosed challenging therapeutic targets to identify potential drug candidates.

Johnson & Johnson Innovation kick started 2018 by striking collaborative agreements with 15 different organizations and companies to address areas of high unmet medical need in neuroscience, oncology and other areas.

Cancer patients with high levels of good gut bacteria appear more likely to respond to immunotherapy, potentially opening up a new way to optimize the use of modern medicines that are highly effective but only work in some people.