Seed Health and Atmo Biosciences announce research partnership to evaluate impact of probiotics on gut microbiome

25 November 2019

Seed Health, a US-based microbial sciences company, and Atmo Biosciences, a digital health business incubated by healthtech commercialization company Planet Innovation, have announced a research partnership to use Atmo’s ingestible gas-sensing capsule to study the impact of probiotics on the gut microbiome.

Seed Health will leverage Atmo’s innovative gas-sensing capsule technology in clinical trials to profile key gases produced within the gut in real-time – the first of which will evaluate the impact of probiotics on the gut microbiome after antibiotic use.

Seed Heath co-founder and co-CEO Raja Dhir said: “Despite over a decade of human microbiome research, we are still limited by the technologies available to measure and understand real-time activity in the human gut.”

“We are inspired by this collaboration with Atmo Biosciences as we pioneer new biomarkers and methods to measure the impact of specific probiotics, while deepening our functional understanding of the gut microbiome. The ability to monitor this environment has tremendous implications for the future of the field.”

The lower gut is challenging to reach physically, making it difficult to study clinically. To date, gut microbiome research – and studies on the efficacy of interventions like probiotics – has relied mostly on stool analysis, which is more reflective of the gut lumen microbiome, specifically in the colon. Other than an invasive tube insertion, the only way to test for these gases is by breath measurements, which are often inaccurate as gas concentrations in the gut are 5,000-10,000 times higher than the breath. Other diagnostic methods such as aspiration, biopsy, endoscopy, motility pills, and imaging pills, are also often highly invasive, costly or have other clinical limitations.

The Atmo Gas Capsule, recently released for research use, is the first ingestible sensor technology to track location-specific gases through the human gastrointestinal tract. The 28mm capsule uses sensors to measure key gases present, including hydrogen and oxygen, and is up to 3,000 times more accurate than breath tests. Development is underway to include additional biomarkers such as methane, hydrogen sulfide and short-chain fatty acids, an additional cluster of biomarkers key to understanding gut microbiota function.

Collectively, these new biomarkers empower researchers to gain objective, real-time insight into patient gut health for diagnosis, treatment and how interventions like antibiotics, probiotics, and food, may impact gut function.

Seed®, the consumer health division of Seed Health, will use the Atmo Gas Capsule in a series of upcoming clinical studies on their flagship probiotic, the Daily Synbiotic. The first study will build on previous metagenomic studies and measure both the effects of antibiotics on the entire GI tract, and how the use of specific strains of probiotic bacteria may impart functional benefits to the GI system during and after antibiotic therapy.

Dr. Gregor Reid, Distinguished Professor at Western University and Lawson Institute Chair of Human Microbiology and Probiotics, and Chief Scientist of Seed said: “While antibiotics are a key frontline tool to treat and eliminate infections, they’re also known to negatively impact the function and diversity of the gut microbiome as reflected in the variety of side effects they cause.”

“As a research and clinical tool, this device will contribute greatly to learning how interventions, including probiotics, alter the gut microbiome’s activity and metabolic readouts.”

Patients enrolled in this first study will swallow an Atmo Gas Capsule for continuous monitoring, detection and measurement of key gases and volatile compounds. Additionally, the study will collect urine, vaginal swabs, fecal and blood samples at multiple unique time points. Recruitment for this study is scheduled to begin in December with the trial commencing in early 2020.

Atmo Biosciences CEO Mal Hebblewhite said: “Working with Seed Health, we can now expand the potential of our technology to understand and measure the real-time impact of interventions like probiotics under different conditions.”

“Our technology unlocks new datasets and novel biomarkers that could not only impact the millions who currently suffer from GI disorders and food intolerances, but also could offer an entirely new dimension of research to evaluate interventions and preventive measures, which could impact millions more.”


Media Contact

Contact:  Suraya Saleh

Telephone: +61 3 8803 4649



About Atmo Biosciences

Atmo Biosciences is an Australian digital health business underpinned by a world-first ingestible gas-sensing capsule technology developed at RMIT University. When swallowed, the Atmo Gas Capsule can profile the gas biomarkers within the gut in real-time, leading to better diagnosis and assessment of treatments for gastrointestinal disorders, and the monitoring of microbiome function, leading to improved gut health and wellness.

About Seed Health

Seed Health is a microbial sciences company pioneering applications of bacteria to impact human and environmental health. In collaboration with leading academic partners, Seed Health’s foundry model accelerates breakthrough science to develop live biotherapeutics and consumer innovations. The portfolio targets some of the most pressing, pervasive conditions for which microbes can become or replace the primary standard of care. Seed Health’s first foundry company  LUCA Biologics, a biotechnology company developing a new class of living medicines targeting the vaginal microbiome to impact reproductive and urogenital health.

About Seed™

Seed develops broad spectrum and targeted consumer probiotics from strain-specific research validated in human clinical trials. Seed’s platform is built on a global strain bank, and includes technology-enabled gastrointestinal simulation models, human cell line and antibiotic resistance testing, untargeted metabolomics and whole genome sequencing. Seed’s life science approach brings much-needed precision, efficacy and education to the global probiotics market. Seed is the consumer division of Seed Health.


News & opinion

Member Directory