Investigational Compound Clears Initial Trial to Treat Serious Gut Disorders


HOST-G904 showed positive results for treating severe bowel conditions.

A recent proof-of-concept trial for investigational compound HOST-G904 showed positive results for treating severe bowel conditions, the microbiome-based therapeutics company HOST Therabiomics announced.

This compound, part of a portfolio of other optimized bio-manufactured compounds, was created to “harness the interactions” between the microbiome and the immune system to prevent or treat certain gastro-intestinal (GI) conditions.

According to the study, specifically using HOST- G904 did not trigger sustained, gas-related abdominal symptoms that are usually byproducts of using prebiotics to manage symptoms of gut disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Patients experiencing functional gut disorders are usually first placed on a low fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharide and polyols (FODMAP) diet, strictly cutting sugars, lactose, and other compounds that could cause negative gastrointestinal symptoms.

The study conducted at the University Hospital, Vall d’Hebron Barcelona, included 26 healthy volunteers who did not exhibit any GI symptoms or history of GI disorders. They were also not required to alter their diets during the 3-week treatment. For the study, 20 patients were included in the main assessment, and six were assigned to the control group.

The 20 main participants were administered HOST-G904 (2.8g/day) for three weeks while following their typical diet. In the evaluation period three days prior, the participants followed a standardized low-fiber diet with one portion of high-fiber foods, so investigators could measure the following:

• Number of daytime gas evacuations for two days

• Volume of gas evacuated

• Microbiome composition as measured by fecal Illumina MiSeq sequencing

The team found that HOST-G904 initially increased the incidence of anal gas evacuations and the volume of gas evacuated after the test meal, but after three weeks of administration, those effects had significantly diminished. At day 21, levels of butyrate-producing bacteria — a type of fatty acid critical in properly functioning digestive systems – were associated with lower volumes of gas-related symptoms.

“HOST-G904 is designed to optimize the gut microbiome and support the immune system’s defenses against certain diseases, and may offer new hope for patients impacted by IBS, IBD, and other gut disorders. Based on these positive results, HOST Therabiomics will further analyze this compound in a Phase 2b study,” Graham Water, CEO, HOST Therabiomics, explained in a news release.

Fernando Azpiroz, MD, PhD, Chief of the Department of Digestive Diseases at the University Hospital Vall d’Hebron, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, concluded, “While low FODMAP diets can be effective for people with IBS and other GI disorders, they are extremely rigid to follow and have been criticized in recent years for negatively impacting the microbiome.”

The study, “Metabolic adaptation of colonic microbiota to galactooligosaccharides: a proof-of-concept-study,” was published in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

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