LUCA
BIOLOGICS



Emerging from the lab of Dr. Jacques Ravel, LUCA BIOLOGICS develops living medicines targeting the vaginal microbiome for urogenital and reproductive health.

The Vaginal Microbiome


Microbial communities in the vagina have a symbiotic relationship with the human host and play critical roles in maintaining health.

Composition imbalance can impact menstruation, fertility, and pregnancy, and lead to often dismissed but debilitating conditions like urinary tract infection (UTI) and bacterial vaginosis (BV), as well as preterm birth (PTB).

There are 3.7 billion women1 around the world. 40% will experience a UTI in their lifetime2, 20-30% will suffer recurrence3.

29% are affected by BV4 and increased risk of STIs, infertility, pregnancy complications, and preterm birth, which impacts 15 million infants5 each year.



1 World Bank. “Population, female.” https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL.FE.IN Sheerin, Neil S. Urinary tract infection (2011) Medicine, Volume 39, Issue 7, 384-389.
3 Geerlings SE. Clinical Presentations and Epidemiology of Urinary Tract Infections. (2016) Microbiol Spectr. Oct;4(5).
4 CDC/Koumans EH, Sternberg M, Bruce C, McQuillan G, Kendrick J, Sutton M, Markowitz LE. The prevalence of bacterial vaginosis in the United States, 2001-2004; associations with symptoms, sexual behaviors, and reproductive health. Sex Transm Dis. 2007 Nov;34(11):864-9. 5 World Health Organization. 2018, February 19. Preterm birth.

The Potential of Living Medicines


Modulation of the vaginal microbiome through microbiota-based therapeutics can protect, restore, and sustain homeostatic function of this ecosystem, and transform how we prevent and treat disease.



The LUCA
Platform


A proprietary platform for discovery and development of live biotherapeutics to protect against vaginal dysbiosis and restore homeostatic function to the vaginal microbiome.




SOURCING

︎
Vaginal microbiota library of 1,000+ strains and gene catalogue assembled over 15 years from the research group of Dr. Jacques Ravel and funded by the National Institute of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


ISOLATION

︎
Individual bacteria strains on selective media.


IDENTIFICATION

︎
Comprehensive human vaginal non-redundant gene catalogue annotated from 17 diverse protein databases and based on over 1,500 vaginal metagenomes.


SCREENING

︎
Analysis of core genome to identify genes associated with novel protective features that maintain stability of vaginal communities over time.


MECHANISM OF ACTION

︎
Microbiology | In vivo metabolite production | Transcriptomics  |  Immunology


DEVELOPMENT

︎
Scale Up | Lyophilization | Stability | Potency