In our last post, we discussed results from a re-analysis of the Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS), which found that the key pathogens responsible for nearly 80% of worldwide cases of pediatric diarrhea are Shigella spp, rotavirus, adenovirus 40/41, heat-stable enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), Cryptosporidium spp, and Campylobacter spp. Previously, we also discussed a study, sponsored by Ventria Bioscience, into how recombinant human breastmilk properties with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties could have potential therapeutic benefit for children suffering from diarrhea.
How do these items relate to each other, specifically? In 2017, Ventria Bioscience announced it had received a $4.2 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help develop ExpressTec manufacturing methods to produce its therapeutic candidate, VEN BETA. The purpose of VEN BETA will be to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with ETEC, which accounts for an estimated 280 million to 400 million cases of diarrhea a year in children under five and an estimated 157,000 deaths per year.