The microbiome is the collection of billions of microorganisms that live in and on the bodies of both humans and animals. These unique communities play a vital role in maintaining health and protecting their host against disease.
Biomedical research in the human microbiome has already led to a pipeline of therapeutic candidates for the treatment of important diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, and cancer — all of which pose a similar threat in our growing, aging pet population.
Discovering the importance of a diverse gut microbiome in maintaining good health is forcing us to rethink the way we treat disease in livestock, incorporating the microbiome as a promising way of optimizing performance without antibiotic intervention.
ANIZOME is dedicated to improving animal health by translating cutting-edge research and discovery into innovative therapeutic solutions, capable of optimizing performance and preventing disease.
ANIZOME LLC was founded in 2018 as a result of a ground-breaking venture between Baylor College of Medicine, Stonehaven Incubate AG and Diversigen Inc. This unique combination of microbiome expertise, industry knowledge and commercial experience has enabled ANIZOME to establish a world-class animal microbiome platform that bridges the gap between research and commercial solutions.
Located in the Texas Medical Centre, the world’s largest health science complex, ANIZOME’s experienced team of experts are building on more than a decade of breakthrough discovery in the microbiome to develop next generation solutions for both farm and companion animals.
The power of the microbiome is derived from the unique combination of microorganisms working in harmony to transform host health. Similarly, ANIZOME’s founders have formed an alliance to advance a shared cause, creating a unique ecosystem of expertise capable of revolutionizing the way we treat animal disease.
Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) is a premier health sciences university in the United States. A partner in the Human Microbiome Project, BCM is home to pioneering microbiome science in the Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research, the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology and Texas Children’s® Microbiome Center.
Stonehaven Incubate AG is a member of the Stonehaven group of companies. Stonehaven Incubate’s mission is to identify disruptive technologies in human health and work collaboratively with the technology originator to build a strategy for a new stand-alone animal health company, identify an experienced management team and source the capital required.
Diversigen Inc. is a leading human microbiome company providing end-to-end solutions for pharma. These include sequencing, bioinformatics, and complex statistical analyses. Diversigen operates a state-of-the-art CLIA/CAP laboratory deploying a variety of techniques on many sample types for subsequent metagenomics analysis and leverages proprietary cohorts and data sets to enable microbiome therapeutic discoveries.
ANIZOME’s unique microbiome platform is underpinned by innovative technology and expert insight to generate creative breakthroughs in the animal microbiome. The platform consolidates state-of-the-art technologies inside a single, structured research and development process focused on generating commercial solutions.
The microbiome is a complex community of bacteria, fungi, archaea and viruses. Unravelling the functionality and harnessing the power of the microbiome requires a multidisciplinary, end-to-end scientific approach. Our platform incorporates innovative technology that enables us to fully characterize the microbiome, cultivate targets of interest and test them in high-throughput biological models.
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ANIZOME utilizes state-of-the-art DNA sequencing technology to achieve fast, accurate, and complete microbiome analysis utilizing samples obtained from oral, skin, and intestinal microbiomes. Our technology ranges from identification of important microbiome population taxonomy trends using 16s sequencing; to understanding functions, relationships, and importance of individual bacteria within the entire microbiome using next-generation WGS techniques under CLIA/CAP accredited lab conditions.
ANIZOME uses world-class bioinformatics and bioanalytic capabilities to fully characterize microbiome populations, trends, and individual functions to discover novel mechanisms, generate leads, and assess the impact of interventions. ANIZOME is focused on good data science and expert statistical analysis to guarantee accurate results.
ANIZOME can rapidly and efficiently produce a wide variety of microbiome and bacterial probing tools for rapid identification of key bacterial, fungal, or viral species present in the microbiome as well as associated activity mechanisms. This supports discovery and the development of accurate diagnostic tools.
ANIZOME can cultivate complex microbial communities and individual bacteria, including aerobic and anaerobic strains in high-throughput and high replication. This enables us to develop a bank of strains which are important for maintaining proper function or inhibiting disease.
From selection and refinement of therapeutic probiotics to engineering of bacteriophage, ANIZOME can explore various mechanisms for manipulating the microbiome. For example, we can deploy highly specialized and effective technology for the identification, selection, and evolution of bacteriophages against targeted bacterial species in the microbiome. Using this technology results in the rapid discovery and development of microbiome editing tools.
ANIZOME uses various biological models to identify the microbial influence on host health, rapidly test hypothesis and generate proof of concept.
MiniBioReactor Arrays (MBRAs): Cultivating mock intestinal communities for target animals to recapitulate functions they create in the host.
C. elegans: Utilizing nematodes as a simple model organism to identify the genetics of microbial manipulation of host health and metabolites involved.
Germ-free rodents: The optimal standard for testing microbiome-host interactions and pre-clinical performance of microbiome-based products.
Our pipeline is focused on delivering a novel class of therapeutic, derived from health-giving microbes and bacteriophages to manipulate the microbiome and improve host health. Our broad portfolio of research and development programs cover some of the most serious health challenges facing both farm and companion animals.
Chief Executive Officer
Former life science business consultant with industry experience in animal health.
Mr. Oliver Hardcastle has global experience in the pharmaceutical sector. He previously worked for Novartis, holding a broad range of positions in the Animal Health Division including roles in European Key Account Management, Global Brand Management and Strategic Planning. He went on to support Integration Planning in the sale of Novartis Animal Health to Eli Lilly & Co, Elanco Animal Health where he continued as an Operations Consultant in the Elanco Integration Management Office before joining Stonehaven Consulting AG as Junior Partner in 2015. Oliver spent the last three years performing a range of consulting studies including Strategy and M&A.
Oliver has a background in science, having started his career working as a Biologist for a Scottish aquaculture company and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Science from the University of Cardiff.
Dr. Scott Carter
Chief Scientific Officer
Animal Health and nutrition expert with 20 years’ experience in Research & Development.
Dr. Scott Carter has twenty years’ experience in Animal Health and Nutrition. He earned his PhD from North Carolina State University in Nutrition and Biotechnology with a focus on the production and application of enzymes to livestock diets to enhance utilization of feed. His career has been focused on the application of biotechnology to enhance animal health and performance. He has extensive experience in the application of enzyme, probiotic, and prebiotic technologies to farm and companion animals.
Dr. Carter worked as Director of Nutritional Health R&D and Enzymes Global Marketing at Elanco Animal Health. Prior to this, he held leadership positions in Sales and Marketing at Alltech and Novus International respectively.
Dr. Carter worked as Director of Business Development Baylor College of Medicine before taking up his current position as Chief Scientific Officer and Head of R&D at ANIZOME.
Chief Financial Officer
Financial executive with 20 years’ experience in healthcare and pharmaceuticals.
Ms. Nassif has over 20 years’ experience in financial and executive management in the healthcare, diagnostic testing, and pharmaceutical industries. Her career has included demonstrated ability to maximize return on investment through aggressive working capital and operating expense management. Additionally, she has experience in building and operationalizing start-up corporations. She currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Diversigen, Inc. where she leads all aspects of the company’s sales, marketing, and operational efforts. In the years prior to joining Diversigen, Ms. Nassif held leadership positions at Quest Diagnostics as Vice President of Clinical Trials, and Vice President of Anatomic Pathology. During her tenure at Quest Diagnostics, she developed the strategy for the pharmaceutical division, led the transformation of the international clinical trials business from loss making to profit, and launched the first profitable product in cytology for the company. She obtained a Green Belt in Six Sigma Quality.
Ms. Nassif held the positions of Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Franklin Heath, Inc. (A Corning Company). She was responsible for all aspects of operations and administration for this start-up healthcare company. Additionally, Ms. Nassif was director of Finance for Covance, Inc. working in its Phase II-III contract research organization. There, she had international responsibilities for pricing, contracts, revenue recognition, and budgeting.
Ms. Nassif graduated summa cum laude from Kean University with a BS in Accounting. She is a Certified Public Accountant. In addition to her corporate positions, she has served on the Board of Advisors for several non-profit groups and organizations.
BCM Partner Relations
Vice President of Research responsible for business and operational aspects of research and commercialization at Baylor College of Medicine.
Shawn R. Davis, VP of Research, is responsible for advancing BCM’s strategic vision for research and commercialization. She oversees the operational and business aspects of the Research Mission, including all commercialization activities. She provides proactive leadership and direction for all aspects of the Research Mission operations and administration, including annual planning, capital and operating budget management, research space management, research technology strategy, philanthropy, and affiliate relationships. She oversees BCM’s strategic relationships with external commercial partners, ensuring an integrated approach to commercialization aligned to institutional vision.
Dr. Lucia Martini
Animal physiology and ethology research scientist with expertise in metagenomic sequencing.
Dr. Lucia Martini is a research scientist with over 12 years’ experience in the area of translational research and over 5 years as a consultant for the biomedical industry with hands on experience in pre-clinical and clinical trials. Dr. Martini earned her Ph.D. from Comenius University, Slovakia in Animal Physiology and Ethology, a PhD program in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Martini conducted her postdoctoral research at Cornell University focusing on Nutritional Sciences. Lucia is Associate Director of Business Development at Diversigen and manager of metagenomic sequencing services for ANIZOME.
Dr. Adam Kuspa
Senior Vice President and Dean for Research at Baylor College of Medicine with a personal track-record in genomic research.
Adam Kuspa, PhD, SVP & Dean of Research, is responsible for the development and execution of BCM’s strategic vision for research and commercialization. He oversees and allocates institutional resources to support all research centers, departments, and institutes, faculty recruitment, and commercial endeavors. He is responsible for maintaining Baylor’s extensive research support infrastructure including pre-award and compliance functions, a vast animal program, Advanced Technology Cores, Research IT, the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) and laboratory safety. He partners with BCM affiliates toward the advancement of a collaborative research vision. His major focus is to integrate clinical and translational research across BCM, as well as to promote the commercial development of the discoveries that result. Dr. Kuspa’s own federally funded laboratory currently investigates the multifaceted way that eukaryotic cells kill bacteria.
Partner at Stonehaven Consulting AG with executive leadership experience in the Animal Health industry.
Mr. Matthias Hofer is a Partner at Stonehaven Consulting AG. He has over 13 years of experience in Animal Health. He served on the executive committees of two major Animal Health companies for a total of 7 years. Between 2009 and 2013 he led the global Aqua Health business at Novartis Animal Health (NAH). Later, he was Global Leader Emerging Business at Elanco and a member of Elanco’s global executive committee. During 2014 and with Elanco’s intention to buy NAH, Matthias served as overall pre-merger integration leader on the Novartis side. In that role, Matthias led a large team and efforts to prepare integration pre-closing overall including carve-out preparations of operations linked to Novartis. Matthias is a business leader with broad international experience and strength in sales, strategy, and execution.
Dr. Caroline Popper
Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Diversigen Inc. with 25 years of hands-on life science operating experience.
Caroline Popper MD MPH is the CEO of Diversigen and the President of BCM Technologies, the company creation enterprise of Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Popper has more than 25 years of hands-on life science operating experience. Originally an internist and pathologist, she combines her medical and scientific perspective with knowledge gained from managing a wide spectrum of life sciences businesses in both Fortune 500 and start-up settings in the US and globally. She maintains a large venture and private equity network, sits on several company boards, and speaks internationally on healthcare innovation and value analysis. Dr. Popper received her medical degree from the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) and her M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore). She completed her residencies in internal medicine and in pathology at Johns Hopkins.
We are also interested in working together with other successful microbiome companies that have discovery or proprietary assets with potential in animal health.
If you would like to discuss partnering opportunities, contact us.
ANIZOME is working with academic researchers and institutes to generate samples from controlled disease cohorts and explore the role of the microbiome. We are always looking to collaborate and recruit innovation to our platform to help bridge the gap between research and commercialization.
If you are interested in collaborating, please contact us.
20th - 21st June, 2018
ANIZOME™ are pleased to partner with Kisaco and will be presenting at the event. Attendees are invited to meet the team at the ANIZOME™ stand.
23rd May, 2018
ANIZOME™, the first company to offer a commercial therapeutic microbiome discovery platform dedicated to animal health and nutrition, is launched today.