Commense was born out of the idea that the microbiome plays a key role in early childhood health and development.
Commense is pioneering a deep understanding of the microbiome early in life and its fundamental role in promoting a lifetime of health. Drawing insights from natural exposures to beneficial microbes, Commense is developing approaches to guide the priming, seeding, and maintaining of the microbiome in infants and children. We are working with the world’s leading microbiome scientists, physicians, and product developers to develop a novel category of products to address critical unmet needs in pediatric populations
Hygiene has played a critical role in maintaining health. However, in recent years, society has started to confuse “cleanliness” with “sterility”. Whether it be antibacterial washes and wipes, over‐emphasizing the sterilizing of kitchenware, or overusing antibiotic prescriptions, modern society has mounted an indiscriminate assault on the “microbiome” – the good bacteria that live in and on us. It is becoming increasingly clear that this attack on the microbiome is having a profound effect on many aspects of our health, from our immune systems to our metabolism, and with it a corresponding rise in diseases like asthma, diabetes, obesity, and allergies in children. Nurturing a healthy microbiome early in life represents a novel strategy to significantly reduce the impact of these diseases. Recent work has begun to reveal sources of these beneficial microbes in nature, as well as strategies to optimize their transfer, colonization, and persistence in the human host.
The Science: Seeding a healthy microbiome at birth
Commense is initially focused on replenishing a vitally important microbial exposure that is experienced by a baby as he or she passes through the birth canal to those born through caesarian section (C-section). In the United States, about one in three babies are delivered by C-section and the incidence exceeds 50 percent in some countries. Numerous studies have documented associations between C-sections and increased rates of allergies, immune disorders, asthma, and obesity. In a study published in the February 1, 2016 issue of Nature Medicine, newborns delivered by C-section were seeded with microbes derived from mother’s birth canal in a procedure mimicking natural birth, showed enhanced levels of natural microbes. Commense is developing a pipeline of novel therapeutics based on a deep understanding of these human/microbe interactions and their impact on health.