Cordlife Group Limited (Cordlife), a Singapore Exchange mainboard listed consumer healthcare company, and AMILI Pte. Ltd. (AMILI), a Singapore-based microbiome firm, announced Tuesday a strategic partnership to provide the first-ever gut microbiome banking service in Singapore and the region.

This partnership synergises the two company’s core specialisations – gut microbiome processing and analysis by AMILI and cryopreservation by Cordlife – to allow people in Singapore to store their gut microbiome for future faecal microbiota transplants (FMT), both parties said in a statement.

The gut microbiome banking service is marketed by Cordlife through its wholly owned subsidiary Cordlife Technologies Pte Ltd.

Cordlife, as one of Asia’s pioneers in cryopreservation of umbilical cord blood obtained from babies, sees this partnership as another step towards expanding its cryopreservation expertise.

“We are excited to launch Southeast Asia’s first-ever gut microbiome banking service with AMILI, as we work together to develop a holistic approach for the well-being of our community. We hope that our partnership will help provide patients in Singapore and the region with access to approved alternative medical therapy,” said Tan Poh Lan, Cordlife’s Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director.

According to the statement, the foundation of this strategic partnership stems from mounting evidence suggesting that FMT is a promising approach for a myriad of diseases such as colorectal cancer, autism spectrum disorder, and even obesity.

FMT or gut microbiome transplantation is the transfer of healthy microbiomes from a healthy person into the gastrointestinal tract of a sick person in order to restore microbial balance.

The transplantation is a widely accepted treatment for recurrent Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) infection, with cure rates of up to 90 percent. The first GMT for C. diff was performed by AMILI co-founder Adj Associate Professor David Ong in Singapore at the National University Hospital in 2014.

“We doctors and scientists now know the importance of the gut microbiome in human health. With advances in genetic sequencing and computing, the secrets of the gut microbiome are being unlocked and new applications developed in conditions as diverse as autism, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, inflammatory bowel
disease and diabetes,

“It is no surprise that the gut microbiome has been described as one of the most important scientific discoveries for human healthcare in recent decades. We are thrilled to partner with Cordlife to offer gut microbiome banking to the community and extend the availability of restorative microbiome interventions,” said Dr Jeremy Lim from AMILI.

AMILI set up Southeast Asia’s first and only donor stool bank in 2019 in Singapore, giving patients access to gut microbiome samples from healthy donors. Since then, AMILI has provided samples to patients in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand who need GMT.

During the course of operations, AMILI received numerous requests from patients’ families wanting to store their own gut microbiome for future transplants, thus providing the inspiration for this Cordlife-AMILI collaboration to provide gut microbiome cryopreservation services.

In this collaboration, AMILI will be responsible for testing and processing of the gut microbiome obtained from clients’ stool samples before sending them to Cordlife’s facility in Singapore for long-term cryopreservation.

Cordlife has created a dedicated gut microbiome cryopreservation room, which is separated from its existing cryopreservation area for other biological samples. Clients can choose to withdraw their samples as and when they are needed for transplantation.

Singapore biotech firm Nalagenetics raises $12.6M Series A funding co-led by Intudo Ventures and Vulcan Capital