Unique Gut Bacteria with Strong Therapeutic Benefit Potential
Christensenella is a highly promising keystone gut bacteria and YSOPIA is the first biotech company to harness its tremendous therapeutic potential.
Since its discovery in 2012, an increasing body of evidence have shown that the Christensenellaceae family plays a major role in the development of a healthy gut microbiome and is missing in many chronically ill patients.YSOPIA validated the potential of Christensenella for the treatment of obesity and associated metabolic disorders, as well as for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases in a series of foundational proof of concept studies.
The seminal work conducted by YSOPIA demonstrating in vivo that our clinical candidate Xla1 limits body weight gain and normalizes several metabolic markers was published in Cells (Mazier et al. 2021).
Discover our pipeline
Missing Keystone in Many Chronic Diseases
Christensenella bears high potential as a source of innovative treatments for multiple chronic diseases.
In 2014, it was identified as the most heritable bacterial taxon in humans and was found to be significantly reduced in obese European individuals (Goodrich et al. 2014). These observations were rapidly confirmed in an independent study in 2015 (Fu et al. 2015). In addition, high levels of Christensenella minuta in the 2015 cohort were associated with reduced circulating levels of triglycerides and higher HDL cholesterol (also known as “good” cholesterol).
This association was recently validated in a large Dutch cohort of more than 2000 people where Christensenellaceae were consistently associated with low VLDL (“bad cholesterol”), high HDL (“good cholesterol”) and low serum triglycerides (Vojinovic et al. 2019).
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) regroup two disorders, namely Crohn’s Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC). Interestingly, a significant decrease of Christensenellaceae has been reported in patients affected by UC and even more so in UC patients developing Primary Sclerosing Cholangiatis, a co-morbidity affecting up to a third of UC patients (Kummen et al, 2017).
In addition, all CD studies that detected christensenella (studies run after the description of C. minuta in 2012 and that have used a sequencing depth enabling detection of low abundance microbes), reported a systematic loss of Christensenellaceae in CD (Pittayanon et al, 2020).
Another important link between Christensenellaceae and CD was highlighted by Zakrzewski et al., 2018 who reported that this family were increased in people expressing the protective variant of the IL23R gene, a well-known risk factor of CD when it is mutated.
Together, these support a role for Christensenellaceae loss as one of the pathogenic factors leading to CD development.
In particular, a recent study investigating the familial risk of developing an affective disorder reported that this condition was associated with a low microbial richness and a specific decrease in members of the Christensenellaceae family (Vinberg et al. 2019).
In animals, it has been reported that christensenella significantly decreased in a rat model of chronic variable stress (Yu et al. 2017), supporting an association between christensenella and depression.