New Collaboration Targets Drug Development Using the Gut Microbiome

Leading researchers from Cedars-Sinai are working with Salix to develop GI disorder treatments.

Salix Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing new therapies for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases, has signed an agreement with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to seek new medicines for the treatment of GI disorders through an investigation of the gut microbiome.

The work will be led by microbiome expert Mark Pimentel, M.D., Executive Director of the Medically Associated Science and Technology (MAST) Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Pimentel is recognized as a leader in the field of microbiome research, particularly known for his work identifying a methanogen as a cause of constipation in humans. He was also involved in the development of rifaximin as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D). 

Pimentel’s philosophy is “to treat these microorganisms – in other words – find the right drug to treat the bug.” Noted Salix’s President Mark McKenna: "The gut microbiome represents a great deal of promise and opportunity for disruptive change in gastroenterology.” The collaboration will be initiated in the third quarter of 2018. Salix will have the option to acquire any drug candidates identified as part of the agreement.


Emilie Branch

Emilie is responsible for strategic content development based on scientific areas of specialty for Nice Insight research articles and for assisting client content development across a range of industry channels. Prior to joining Nice Insight, Emilie worked at a strategy-based consulting firm focused on consumer ethnographic research. She also has experience as a contributing editor, and has worked as a freelance writer for a host of news and trends-related publications