Researchers look at whether probiotics can slow osteoporosis in early menopause

Pendulum Therapeutics has teamed up with bone health researchers at Australian Catholic University to investigate the impact of a targeted probiotic formulation on bone, muscle, and glucose metabolism in early-stage menopause

September 15, 2022 07:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pendulum Therapeutics, the biotech company pioneering the next frontier of health through their microbiome-targeted products, today announced Professor Mattias Lorentzon from the Bone Health and Fractures Research Program at the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research at ACU will lead the OsteoPreP study to investigate if Pendulum Therapeutics’ targeted formulation of probiotic strains and prebiotic fiber can slow or stop bone thinning in early postmenopausal women.

“Pendulum is leading the way in microbiome research and technology, bringing these novel solutions to the market. Strong research collaborations, like the clinical trial with ACU, will substantiate that the microbiome is the next frontier in human health.”

Microbiome research has rapidly expanded in the last decade leading to the identification of how keystone bacterial strains function in the gut to impact health throughout the body. Less commonly articulated is the connection between the gut microbiome and bone health. With osteoporosis impacting 1 out of 3 women over the age of 50 worldwide and an economic cost of related fractures estimated to be greater than $130 billion by 2050, strategies to improve age-related decline in bone health are imperative.

“Research indicates that the gut microbiome, specifically butyrate-producing bacterial strains, may play an important role in bone health,” explains Prof. Lorentzon. “OsteoPreP was designed based on the knowledge that targeted probiotic strains can increase production of short chain fatty acids, such as butyrate, influencing not only healthy bones, but overall metabolic health, including muscle mass and weight, as we age. When we saw published data showing that Pendulum’s formulation increased butyrate in a clinical trial, we were excited to team up with their scientists on this project.”

While this is primarily a bone health study, investigators are also looking at outcomes related to memory, muscle and fat mass, blood sugar, mental health, and general well-being. There is an emerging body of evidence linking the gut microbiome to cognitive, muscle and cardiometabolic function. Such studies indicate that probiotics (healthy gut bacteria) or prebiotics (food for healthy bacteria, i.e. fiber) can increase the amount of short chain fatty acids produced by the gut bacteria which may contribute to the broader beneficial effects of improved gut health.

Pendulum Glucose Control, the probiotic formulation used in OsteoPreP was previously shown in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to significantly improve A1c and post-meal glucose spikes in people with type 2 diabetes taking metformin.

“If the results of the study show what we anticipate, it is entirely possible that we may be able to avoid osteoporosis in high-risk populations by targeting the microbiome," speculates Dr. Orville Kolterman, Chief Medical Officer at Pendulum Therapeutics. "Pendulum is leading the way in microbiome research and technology, bringing these novel solutions to the market. Strong research collaborations, like the clinical trial with ACU, will substantiate that the microbiome is the next frontier in human health.”

More information about OsteoPreP

The OsteoPreP study is a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial, investigating whether consuming a probiotic supplement containing anaerobic bacteria and inulin (a prebiotic soluble fiber) twice daily for 12 months will improve bone health in early postmenopausal women. In addition, secondary outcomes will measure the effect of the intervention on immune system modulation and cognition as well as musculoskeletal and metabolic function as potential mediators. The trial started recruitment in August 2022 of postmenopausal women 40-65 years old residing in Melbourne. Study participants will have visits at baseline, followed by 6 and 12 months. In order to take part in the OsteoPreP study, women must be between 1 and 4 years from their final menses. OsteoPreP participants will be randomly allocated to either the probiotic intervention group or the placebo group. Learn more about the study.

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 18 patents and 66 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 patients with type 2 diabetes taking metformin in a published clinical trial. Founded in 2013 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, CA.

About Australian Catholic University

Australian Catholic University is a leading research university in the priority areas of theology and philosophy, education, and health. ACU is committed to meaningful education, rewarding research, and life-changing community engagement initiatives. ACU is ranked in the top two percent of universities worldwide and in the top 10 Catholic universities. The university has seven campuses around Australia, a campus in Rome, Italy, and an online campus – ACU Online.




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