Women & Infants to partner with General Biomics for study on infant diseases

WOMEN & INFANTS HOSPITAL has announced a clinical agreement with General Biomics Inc. to study the role of the human microbiome in diseases of infants in neonatal intensive care units. / COURTESY WOMEN & INFANTS HOSPITAL

PROVIDENCE – Women & Infants Hospital and General Biomics Inc. will collaborate on a study looking at the role of the human microbiome in diseases of infants in neonatal intensive care units.

For the study, Women & Infants will collect samples from patients in the units and General Biomics will analyze the samples and develop tests to predict diseases. This will be a collaborative effort co-managed by Dr. George Weinstock of General Biomics and Dr. Jill Maron, chief of pediatrics at Women & Infants and professor at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School.

“The Women & Infants’ NICU is thrilled to partner with General Biomics on this important area of research,” Maron said. “This partnership is a continuation of a productive collaboration that I have had with Dr. Weinstock and his team exploring the role of the microbiome in neonatal health and disease. It is extremely exciting to continue this research to develop improved diagnostic approaches for the vulnerable neonatal population.”

General Biomics, a company located in the University of Connecticut Technology Incubator Program in Farmington, Conn., will fund the effort at Women & Infants and obtain commercial rights to the output of the study. The tests it will develop through the study will help address medical disorders that affect newborns and young infants.

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“The microbiome is a crucial key in our understanding of human disease. Our work showed many ties between the microbiome and disease,” Weinstock said. “General Biomics is pleased to be able to collaborate with Dr. Maron and WIHRI. This joint project is an outstanding opportunity to move this toward clinical application, enabling us to develop novel, patentable tests, which will greatly reduce the costs of hospitalization and dramatically reduce the mortality and morbidity in these patients.”

Claudia Chiappa is a PBN staff writer. You may contact her at Chiappa@PBN.com.

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