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DuPont chosen to provide probiotics for international pediatric sepsis research

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The firm will provide probiotic drugs to the The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) for a pediatric sepsis research based in Bangladesh

DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences (DuPont), has collaborated with The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Toronto to provide clinical trial probiotic and prebiotic products for the latter’s research on the effects of probiotics on sepsis in infants. The research will be conducted in Bangladesh, funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in collaboration with the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research and the Child Health Research Foundation, both based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

“Sepsis continues to be a leading cause for newborn deaths, with infants in developing countries being disproportionately impacted,” said Matthias Heinzel, President, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences. “The current body of research shows that a probiotic/prebiotic blend is associated with a significant reduction in sepsis in infants, which is why we’re excited to supply them for this study.”

DuPont will offer its scientific expertise with a comprehensive analysis of the safety and characteristics of the probiotic strain used in the clinical study. It will also develop a validated molecular method for specific detection of the strain. This will support clinical research aimed at determining if a precise probiotic/prebiotic combination can effectively colonize an infant’s developing microbiome, reduce the incidence of sepsis, and improve other health outcomes in early life.

The study comes in the wake of a previous clinical trial in rural India, the largest infant trial to date, which showed promise in reducing the risk of neonatal sepsis using the same combination of probiotic and prebiotic. This trial, which did not involve DuPont or investigators from SickKids or its collaborators, also showed a significant reduction in lower respiratory tract infections. The findings suggested a potential beneficial effect on the development of infants’ immune systems. This same probiotic strain also has been demonstrated to increase colonization of beneficial bacteria in infants.

“We are honored to be able to provide our probiotic expertise for this important research,” said Buffy Stahl, Global Business Development Leader at DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences, Probiotics. “This nutritional intervention holds great potential for supporting health in some of the most vulnerable people of all – babies.”

It is estimated that nearly 3 million newborns and 1.2 million children suffer from sepsis globally each year, with limited effective forms of prevention currently available

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