Pendulum Takes The First Step Toward Predicting Whether Microbiome Bacteria Can Feed on Certain Types of Fiber

SAN FRANCISCO, November 2, 2021/PRNewswire/— Pendulum Therapeutics, an evidence-based microbiome company, announces the publication of its study in Frontiers in Microbiology

The study, entitled "FiberGrowth Pipeline: A Framework Toward Predicting Fiber-Specific Growth From Human Gut Bacteroidetes Genomes," shows that clinicians will someday be able to identify which bacteria are present in the gut microbiome—as well as what they are able to feed on—as a means of restoring the gut microbiome with missing strains and fiber.

By being able to better predict fiber breakdown by bacterial strains, there will be better understanding of what impacts each individual's nutrition and health.

“Just imagine the power of being able to know if your gut microbiome is taking full advantage of the fiber you're working hard to eat,” says Colleen Cutcliffe, co-founder and CEO of Pendulum Therapeutics. “Or, if you've lost those key bacteria and need to restore them to your microbiome for optimal health. With this published study, Pendulum is taking us in that direction." 

The fiber we eat cannot be digested in our stomachs. Only gut bacteria from our microbiome can break down that fiber, and that gut bacteria has: 

  1. Glycosyl hydrolases (GH) enzymes that are involved/mandatory for the bacterial breakdown in the bacterial breakdown of fiber into short-chain fatty acids
  2. An incredible machinery of more than 10 genes, GH, and others to break down the fiber into smaller pieces and to produce beneficial molecules like short-chain fatty acids (e.g. butyrate

For the Frontiers in Microbiology study, Pendulum Therapeutics microbiology and biocomputing teams designed an in-silico pipeline called "FiberGrowth," which scans the aforementioned “machinery.”

"Our FiberGrowth model can predict which bacteria can grow on arabinoxylan and inulin with an accuracy of 89% and 95%, respectively," says Marion Leclerc, PhD, who recently joined Pendulum Therapeutics as a Principal Scientist.

Pendulum Therapeutics hopes that computational tools like FiberGrowth will help researchers prioritize and design in-vitro experiments. This work underscores the innovative work Pendulum is doing to help consumers manage their health by supporting the human gut microbiome. 

Pendulum is actively using cutting-edge DNA-sequenced science to restore lost strains of critical gut microbiota. This model will further help the company to identify and develop bacterial strains that improve functionality and support general health.

Because it wants to help the research and medical community, this Pendulum Therapeutics research paper is open access, and its FiberGrowth model is available to everyone at

About Pendulum Therapeutics
Pendulum Therapeutics believes therapies developed using evidence-based microbiome science and DNA sequencing can help heal the body from within. Armed with 13 patents and 42 pending, the company introduced its flagship product Pendulum Glucose Control, a medical probiotic, in 2020 and demonstrated its efficacy in lowering blood sugar spikes and reducing A1C in individuals with Type 2 diabetes taking metformin in a published clinical trial. Founded in 2012 by a diverse team of scientists with deep microbiology, biochemistry, computational, and clinical expertise, Pendulum has raised $111 million to date from Meritech Capital, Sequoia Capital, True Ventures, Khosla Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, and Mayo Clinic among others. Pendulum Therapeutics is headquartered in San Francisco.

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