Catalyzed by growing research and skyrocketing venture funding, the Microbiome is at an inflection point

March 2021

Spurred by landmark research projects & findings, powered by significant grant dollars, surging clinical trials, and historic levels of venture funding, the microbiome market is marching towards the mainstream. Advances in next generation sequencing (NGS), informatics, computing power, gene editing, synthetic biology, and now proteomics and metabolomics has brought about this revolution. The microbiome is a rich and diverse area that influences a multitude of fields including diagnostics, therapeutics, food, agriculture, personal care/cosmetics, and the environment.

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Food

Diet has profound effects in shaping the composition of the gut microbiota. Increasing awareness of healthy diet to promote a healthy microbiome has led to proliferation of fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics. Personalized nutrition that recommends individualized diet based on microbiome profile and chronic disease risk is incredibly attractive to consumers. Companies such as Viome, Day Two, and Vivante Health are vying to give consumers food recommendations based on microbiome testing, AI insights to support glycemic control, weight loss, ageing, restful sleep, and so on.

Diagnostics

Hypothesis free infectious disease testing is the holy grail, Karius is making strides on this front and gained significant funding recently. Consumer companies are enabling microbiome profiling without clinical intervention to guide personalized nutrition and skincare.

  

Agriculture

Agriculture companies have galvanized the field by raising big amounts. A record breaking, nearly $700M was raised in 2020 by several breakout companies with transformational microbiome based soil management solutions such as IndigoAg, PivotBio, AgBiome. There is disruptive potential in this market, engineering of soil and a crop/plant’s microbiome can boost crop yield, improves plant health, ward off insects, sequester carbon and lower costs.

Environmental

Promise of environmental microbiome engineering to control harmful effects of pollution and climate change is electrifying to say the least. Growing levels of published research and grant funding indicates that the science is building and likely to be the next frontier of VC funding.

Personal care

Consumers are increasingly looking to maintain beautiful looking skin with a healthy skin ecosystem , the industry is innovating with advanced ingredients, and new formulations. However, skin tends to be more challenging than the gut as the skin microbiome varies by skin site, hygiene level, and environmental conditions. This is where personalized cosmetics based on consumer microbiome profiling maybe the next frontier. However, since personal care products do not need to undertake rigorous studies, efficacy will always remain a question.

In conclusion, robust trends and ascent in venture funding implies transformational potential across multitude of industries.  The microbiome market ecosystem is interconnected and advancements are likely to mutually enable each other.

This summary was created with data from Arogyam’s Analytics of the Microbiome Landscape market report and whitepaper

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