A secret on microbiome startups

In the first year of medical school (2012), a professor told us about fecal transplants. The entire class laughed, simultaneously dismissing the idea and making inappropriate jokes.

Fast forward a few years, fecal transplants are being performed more, and patients’ microbiomes are being sequenced. Research has linked the human gut microbiome to diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosis (clinical trial).

The interest in the microbiome is exploding. Meanwhile, genomics interest has decreased rapidly since the GWAS bubble, and stayed relatively constant.

alt text

With the interest of genomics, which started in the mid 2000s with the GWAS (genome-wide association study) research bubble, came a rise in genomics analysis with AI.

alt text

Here’s what we know:

  • AI is useful (you can see this everywhere in the world)
  • AI is useful for genomics (as evidenced by the large number of companies using AI for genomics)

However, here’s a secret:

  • AI will be incredibly valuable for microbiomics. This will be more easily seen when the cost curve for genome sequencing continues to decrease.

Innovation fuels commercial activity, and we can already see that the innovation landscape is booming:

alt text

This particular segment of AI is worth following closely. It is not unreasonable to expect an insane amount of hype in this area. The real winners will differentiate themselves with strong AI teams, strong expertise and unique access to data, among other things.