Our mission is to bring novel treatment options to rare kidney diseases and to partner closely with the medical and patient communities we serve. The first step in our journey is to improve quality of life and to extend life expectancy of patients with primary hyperoxaluria.
Back in the 1970’s a young microbiologist named Milt Allison was studying interactions between feedstuffs and microbes at an Animal Health Facility in Ohio. He was informed that sheep started to mysteriously die from kidney failure after they were released back outside after being kept inside the barn during winter. While investigating these unexpected occurrences, he noticed that their winter diets were devoid of oxalate rich food. After performing some experiments Milt realized that in the spring these sheep were exposed to high oxalate diet but the bacteria in their guts that degraded oxalate had disappeared over the winter. The excess oxalate ended up accumulating in the kidney resulting in kidney failure.
OxThera AB was founded in 2005 to explore the therapeutic potential that originated from this observation. Turning a naturally occurring bacteria into a healthcare product may sound easy, but in reality, it is not. To commercialize Oxabact®, we needed to develop a suitable delivery mechanism to transport uniform quantities of live bacteria to the site of action. The bacterium viability depends on strictly anaerobe conditions making biomanufacturing complex. We have developed a lyophilized formulation encapsulated in a special enteric coating that protects the bacteria from the stomach acid. The capsule remains intact while passing through the stomach, then releases cells at the target site, the upper intestine.
Over the course of clinical development, continuous optimization of the product version has improved key characteristics of our therapeutic candidate and thereby increased the overall likelihood of success.