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BIO 2014

Human microbiome: Boon or boondoggle for drugmakers?

By Marie Powers
Staff Writer

Monday, June 30, 2014

SAN DIEGO – Although research about the human microbiome is in its infancy, the science is advancing rapidly, with observations about the microbiome signature in various disease states reported almost weekly in peer-reviewed journals. Carefully designed cause-and-effect experiments also are being conducted, and the findings are turning the heads of venture capitalists and big pharma. But the space is so large and unwieldy and the regulatory pathway so new that efforts to capitalize on the beneficial microorganisms that colonize the human body threaten to overwhelm small biotechs seeking to build drug discovery platforms.

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