Patrick Jimonet Céline Druart Stéphanie Blanquet-Diot Lilia BoucinhaStephanie KourulaFrançoise Le VaconSylvie MaubantSylvie RabotTom Van de WieleFrank SchurenVincent ThomasBernard WaltherMichael ZimmermannMedicen Microbiome Drug Metabolism Working Group (2024).

Human microbiomes, particularly in the gut, could have a major impact on the efficacy and toxicity of drugs. However, gut microbial metabolism is often neglected in the drug discovery and development process. Medicen, a Paris-based human health innovation cluster, has gathered more than 30 international leading experts from pharma, academia, biotech, clinical research organizations, and regulatory science to develop proposals to facilitate the integration of microbiome science into drug discovery and development. Seven subteams were formed to cover the complementary expertise areas of 1) pharma experience and case studies, 2) in silico microbiome–drug interaction, 3) in vitro microbial stability screening, 4) gut fermentation models, 5) animal models, 6) microbiome integration in clinical and regulatory aspects, and 7) microbiome ecosystems and models. Each expert team produced a state-of-the-art report of their respective field highlighting existing microbiome-related tools at every stage of drug discovery and development. The most critical limitations are the growing, but still limited, drug–microbiome interaction data to produce predictive models and the lack of agreed-upon standards despite recent progress. In this paper we will report on and share proposals covering 1) how microbiome tools can support moving a compound from drug discovery to clinical proof-of-concept studies and alert early on potential undesired properties stemming from microbiome-induced drug metabolism and 2) how microbiome data can be generated and integrated in pharmacokinetic models that are predictive of the human situation. Examples of drugs metabolized by the microbiome will be discussed in detail to support recommendations from the working group.