With One Prescription, Doctors Are Treating Over A Trillion Patients

3 July 2017by Manoj Dadlani

Did you know, as a patient, you present more organisms to your doctor for treatment than there are humans on earth? It’s okay if you didn’t, even Alexander Fleming probably didn’t realize when he discovered penicillin that the effects of this xenobiotic (foreign chemical substance found within an organism that is not naturally produced by or expected to be present within) depended on trillions (over ten trillion to be exact) of bacteria’s metabolic pathways. These bacteria account for the microbial world known as the gut microbiome, and their effects on xenobiotics can have beneficial, or sometimes deadly, effects.

For decades, therapeutic drug development focused on chemical composition tailored specifically to the human body’s metabolism. However, in a study discussed in Science, the gut microbiome actually provides a larger collective metabolic repertoire than human cells. From lifetime of drugs to the biological effects, the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of xenobiotics is very much at the whim of the gut microbiota. This, as you can imagine, throws a wrench in the works of therapeutic medicine. Much like running a country, a doctor now not only has to consider the whole of the patient, but also the sum of its parts (aka 10 trillion bacterial citizens).

Thus, it has become clear that medicine will have to become more personalized than ever before. Understanding individual gut microbial composition is becoming a large cornerstone in linking xenobiotic exposure to health outcomes. As explained in “Chemical transformation of xenobiotics by the human gut microbiota”, the association between ingestion of ingestion of xenobiotics processed by gut microbes and health status exists, however there is limited clinical information in regards to patient population. In addition, another struggle present is the amount of strain-level variation within the gut (which I may add that CosmosID is capable of identifying) has limited the assessment of the gut microbiota composition.

Nevertheless, it is quite clear how important it is to understand each individual patient’s gut microbiota composition and the implications it has on therapeutic treatment. By unlocking the gut microbiome, we unlock more efficient, personalized medicine.

Manoj Dadlani

Mr. Manoj Dadlani serves as Chief Executive Officer at CosmosID, Inc., the Maryland based provider of industry-leading solutions for unlocking the microbiome. Previously, Mr. Dadlani served as a partner at Applied Value Group, a management consulting and investment firm, and was co-founder and CEO at Rasa Industries, Ltd., a leading beverage manufacturing company. Mr. Dadlani has substantial experience in strategy, M&A, supply chain management, product development, marketing and business development. Mr. Dadlani received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Biological Engineering from Cornell University. Services offered by CosmosID’s CLIA certified and GLP laboratory cover the entire workflow from study design to sample collection, extraction, library preparation, sequencing, data analysis and publication support. CosmosID’s cloud-based metagenomics application offers user-friendly access to the largest curated databases for microbial genomics, antimicrobial resistance and virulence data and has been independently validated to return metagenomic analyses at strain level resolution with industry-leading sensitivity and precision.