David Kyle, Evolve Biosystems

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Dr. David Kyle has co-founded biotech companies for 35 years in nutrition and health including Martek Biosciences which was acquired in 2011 for $1.1 billion. For the first issue of Biostart, he spoke to us about the lessons he’s learned during his career.

Where did Evolve begin?

Evolve’s work is based on 15 years of previous research at the University of California at Davis. A cross-functional team of world-class scientists made an incredible discovery. The early microbiome of the infant is defined by the 15% of energy in human breast milk that is not directly available to the infant, but rather it is tied up in a soluble fibre (Human Milk Oligosaccharides or HMO) that feeds the new-born infant gut microbiome.

Interestingly, only a single bacterial species, Bifidobacterial infantis, has the capability for completely consuming all those HMO and remarkably, this species has been lost from most infants in the developed world due primarily to a lifetime exposure to antibiotics. The seeding of an infant’s gut microbiome has historically come from its mother’s gut microbiome, but mothers in the U.S. today have had 15-20 courses of antibiotics from the time they were born until the time they deliver their first baby. Her microbiome diversity has been depleted significantly, including this important symbiont and if mom does not have the B. infantis, she cannot pass it on to her baby and the symbiosis has…

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