Our approach

Leveraging the Power of Keystone Bacteria

Developing biotherapies based on keystone single-strain bacteria is the game-changing and unique strategy adopted by YSOPIA Bioscience.

Of the billions of bacteria that make up our body, certain families are considered keystone taxa of the microbiome, playing a unique and fundamental role in the host’s health. Keystone bacteria are the foundation of the whole ecosystem because they provide very specific metabolic functions that support other generalist micro-organisms. 

Contrary to what is commonly believed, the abundance of a species is not the best determinant of its contribution to the gut microbial ecosystem. Keystone taxa, at the root of the gut microbiome community, are subdominant slow growers and drive the microbiome structure.

They set the scene for the fast growers, dominant bacteria that provide key metabolic and immune functions.

Hence, their removal or loss causes the ecosystem to collapse, generating a dramatic shift in microbiome structure and function, and resulting in a negative impact on our health.

Discovering the Therapeutic Potential of Keystone Bacteria in Treating Chronic Diseases

Today, Christensenella, which is missing in many chronic diseases patients, is a particularly promising keystone bacteria with tremendous therapeutic potential. 

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The Christensenellaceae, a recently described family in the phylum Firmicutes, is emerging as an important player in human health.

The relative abundance of Christensenellaceae in the human gut is inversely related to host body mass index (BMI) in different populations and multiple studies, making its relationship with BMI the most robust and reproducible link between the microbial ecology of the human gut and metabolic disease reported to date.

The family is also related to a healthy status in a number of other different disease contexts, including obesity and inflammatory bowel disease. In addition, Christensenellaceae is highly heritable across multiple populations, although specific human genes underlying its heritability have so far been elusive.

Further research into the microbial ecology and metabolism of these bacteria should reveal mechanistic underpinnings of their host-health associations and enable their development as therapeutics.

Waters et al., The human gut bacteria Christensenellaceae are widespread, heritable, and associated with health, 2019, BMC Biology

Single-Strain Biotherapies

Our first-in-class keystone single-strain biotherapies address the root causes of the disease by regenerating a healthy microbiome, with subsequent deep beneficial effect on patients.

At YSOPIA Bioscience, we are convinced that single bacterial strains will form the next generation of innovative gut microbiome-based medicine, as they address the fundamental causes of gut dysbiosis.

Our added value consists in selecting from among these families of keystone bacteria those with strong therapeutic potential to restore missing functions, having already demonstrated proof of concept, to bring them into the clinical development phase.

> Discover our pipeline


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Press / Media
Mar 4, 2021
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Mar 4, 2021
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Apr 22, 2020
Keystone gut bacteria are the foundation of the whole microbial ecosystem because they provide very specific metabolic...
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Dec 6, 2019
The term “microbiome” refers to the collection of microorganisms (or microbiota) – including bacteria, viruses and...
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