Engineering Living Biotherapeutics for Gastrointestinal Health with Tantu

Digestive disorders affect tens of millions of people in the U.S. each year, and current treatments don’t sufficiently promote gastrointestinal healing, resulting in many patients undergoing invasive surgeries to improve their quality of life.

But what if you could specifically design a living medicine—a microbe—that aids intestinal healing, transforming the way these patients are cared for?

That’s exactly what Tantu Therapeutics is trying to do. They’re working to create an orally administered, living biotherapeutic that will produce and apply anti-inflammatory therapeutic proteins directly into diseased sites in the gut. The living medicine aims to improve gut barrier function and faster mucosal healing in patients where systemic anti-inflammatory therapies are not enough.

And they’ve come to Ginkgo to help accelerate the research and development of this new therapeutic. We plan to apply our automated foundry to speed up the traditionally slow process of candidate strain construction and genomic integration and validation. Our goal is to accelerate Tantu’s first program and potentially help them reach clinical proof of concept in patients faster.

Tantu’s lead therapeutic candidate is an engineered microbe that produces anti-inflammatory and healing agents from inside the gut lumen—something that no clinically approved therapeutic currently does. Tantu’s local delivery strategy is designed to improve patient outcomes by reducing reliance solely on systemic anti-inflammatory drugs, which can suppress a patient’s immune system. Their living biotherapeutic products are being designed to complement proven approaches to further improve patients’ health and quality of life.

Through our platform, we’re able to support startups in the biotech industry as they bring new innovations to the field and society.

We’re excited to partner with a pre-seed company like Tantu; our goal is to reduce their time-to-market. Our program with Tantu gives us the opportunity to leverage our expertise in pharmaceuticals and support the development of a potentially transformative therapeutic for the millions struggling with digestive disorders.

Companies across numerous industries use Ginkgo’s cell programming platform to find more effective, environmentally friendly ways to create products including food ingredients, fragrances, cosmetics, medicines, and more. By enabling the design of organisms that can produce valuable biological products, we’re helping accelerate the development of innovative, bio-based solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

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