Year 2019 2019 Winner | Venture Winner Science Start-ups (Falling Walls Venture)

Blake Wills

University of Queensland


Microba is a microbial genomics company originating from technology developed at the University of Queensland. It has quickly established itself as a world leader in the analysis of the gut microbiome. With a growing body of global research indicating that the gut microbiome plays a central role in health and disease, Microba has quickly positioned itself to be a leading force in the development of new pathology services, therapeutics and diagnostics based on the microbiome.

Utilising Microba’s proprietary Metagenomic Analysis Platform (MAP), a bioinformatic data analysis pipeline, Microba has delivered its comprehensive gut microbiome analysis service to over 7000 consumers, researchers and healthcare practitioners. Working alongside leading healthcare professionals, Microba is developing new pathology services to enable microbiome testing to become a part of routine clinical care.

Microba has rapidly built one of the world’s richest population databases of de-identified microbiome and associated lifestyle data. Using this database, Microba established its Ventures Division which focuses on pursuing the clinical development of IP assets. The first focus is on Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) where Microba developed a classifier that can detect IBD with 97% AUC and is further developing this into a companion diagnostic. Additionally, Microba is actively culturing species that are absent or reduced in IBD to assess their potential for use as therapeutics.

Microba is focused on using a data driven, machine learning approach to therapeutic and companion diagnostic development. As a result of this focus Microba is quickly progressing towards its mission of creating life changing healthcare products.

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