Gut bacteria drawings

Patent-pending technology could improve human health, agriculture and environment

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (08/23/2017) — The University of Minnesota Venture Center, part of the Office for Technology Commercialization, today announced the launch of CoreBiome Inc., a startup company based on University technology that provides analysis of microbial communities for human health, agricultural, environmental applications.

CoreBiome is based on patent-pending genomic technology and informatics tools developed at the University of Minnesota that allow for an unprecedented level of control, reproducibility and accuracy in providing detailed information about microbial communities (microbiomes). The company combines fast, accurate genomic profiles of microbiomes with machine learning to help their customers develop breakthrough products.

The technology behind CoreBiome is based on discoveries by U of M researchers Dan Knights, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science and engineering in the College of Science and Engineering and the BioTechnology Institute in the College of Biological Sciences; Kenneth Beckman, Ph.D., director of the University of Minnesota Genomics Center (UMGC); and Daryl Gohl, Ph.D., research and development lead of UMGC.

“There’s a growing need for fast, reproducible and scalable microbiome analysis in many research fields,” said Knights, who is also CoreBiome’s CEO. “Our goal is to accelerate discovery of microbiome-based solutions in human health, agriculture and the environment.”

Understanding how communities of microbes behave, whether in the human gut, in farm animals and soil, or in natural waterways, can help scientists discover new ways to control and remedy harmful microbial processes or to facilitate beneficial ones. Microbiome research is leading to new opportunities that range from treating antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections to removing toxins from contaminated water.

Through its scientific expertise and analysis, CoreBiome will provide crucial information and efficiency for industries engaged in these areas of microbiome-related research and development, helping them to accelerate discovery and better leverage the potential of microbiome science in a variety of fields.

“University of Minnesota researchers are among those at the vanguard of the emerging science describing the powerful effects microbial communities exert on their environment,” said Dale Nugent, venture development executive with the Venture Center. “We are excited that CoreBiome, as one of the U’s newest startup companies, pushes University knowledge outside of the lab. The company will deliver much-needed services to a fast-growing market and should speed the arrival of solutions to significant problems we face in health and the environment.”

CoreBiome, launched by the Venture Center in May and based in St. Paul, Minn., is now providing services to clients, including microbiome sequencing, profiling and data analysis.

To learn more, visit the CoreBiome website.

Learn more about the University’s startup enterprise on the Office of Technology Commercialization website.

Contact:

Dan Gilchrist, Office of the VP for Research, dang@umn.edu, (612) 624-2609