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CoreBiome to provide microbiome discovery services

Start-up company provides analysis of microbial communities for agricultural, environmental and human health applications.

The University of Minnesota Venture Center, part of the Office for Technology Commercialization, announced the launch of CoreBiome Inc., a startup company based on university technology that provides analysis of microbial communities for agricultural, environmental and human health 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), according to the announcement. 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 University of Minnesota researchers Dr. Kenneth Beckman, director of the University of Minnesota Genomics Center (UMGC); Dr. Daryl Gohl, research and development lead of UMGC, and Dr. Dan Knights, assistant professor of computer science and engineering in the College of Science & Engineering and the BioTechnology Institute in the College of Biological Sciences.

“There's a growing need for fast, reproducible and scalable microbiome analysis in many research fields,” said Knights, who is also chief executive officer of CoreBiome. “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 farm animals, the human gut, soil or 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, the university said.

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 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 (university’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.

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