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Use of the commensal bacterium Roseburia intestinalis to treat or prevent IBD

Treating and preventing chronic irritable bowel diseases (IBD) with a commensal bacterium that is naturally present in the intestine

Roseburia intestinalis
Updated on 10/18/2018
Published on 09/21/2018

Chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), mainly comprising Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, are a series of disorders characterised by chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. These diseases alternate between phases of remission and acute relapses during which the symptoms recur: mainly severe abdominal pain and diarrhea, accompanied by abscesses and weight loss. The rates of incidence of these diseases are higher in developed countries, and particularly in North-East Europe and the USA. Approximately 1.6 million people are affected in the USA, and 2.5 million in Europe. Current treatments – mainly using anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant agents – can only treat the symptoms, and also have numerous adverse or even dangerous effects. There is therefore considerable demand from patients for less aggressive treatments that will be more effective in the long term. The intestinal microbiota has been shown to be a key factor in triggering this disease, but none of the standard probiotics has demonstrated any positive effects. It is therefore necessary to test new probiotic strains for the treatment of IBD.

Roseburia intestinalis is a beneficial species in the intestinal microbiota that has anti-inflammatory properties and whose population drops markedly in IBD patients, notably those with Crohn’s disease. It is the principal producer of butyrate near the intestinal epithelium. Butyrate plays a role in reducing intestinal inflammation.
The team led by Marianne De Paepe selected an improved strain of R. intestinalis and administered it to mice in a model of inflammation. It was seen that mice receiving the improved strain of R. intestinalis were better protected from inflammation than those fed the wild-type strain.


  • Roseburia intestinalis is a commensal species that is present naturally in the intestine and produces butyrate


  • Treatment and prevention of inflammatory diseases such as IBD

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Title: Use of a strain of Roseburia intestinalis to prevent and treat intestinal inflammation (Utilisation d’une souche de Roseburia intestinalis pour la prevention et le traitement de l’inflammation de l’intestin")

This patent covers the use of a strain of Roseburia intestinalis, alone or in combination with another species or compounds, to treat and/or prevent IBD or to improve gastrointestinal comfort and wellbeing.

Type of transfer

Licence or licence option with R&D programme