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10th February 2021 Latest News Nutrition and Gut Health

BiomeBank welcomes inaugural CEO to boost impact for patients living with gut disease

Two men standing in front of staircase smiling at camera

Global biotech executive Thomas Mitchell (pictured left) has relocated to Adelaide to drive growth, innovation and expansion across Asia Pacific for thriving biotechnology start-up BiomeBank, Australia’s first public stool bank and a partner of The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) Group.

Arriving from Cambridge UK and bringing with him a wealth of experience in the discovery and development of microbiome drug products, Mr Mitchell takes the reins as BiomeBank’s inaugural CEO.

Established with the support of THRF Group in 2016 by co-founders and Adelaide-based gastroenterologists Dr Sam Costello (pictured right) and Dr Robert Bryant, BiomeBank enables the quality-controlled donation of healthy stool from South Australian donors, to provide safe access to a faecal microbiota transplant (FMT).

Two researchers working in lab

BiomeBank researchers working in their lab at Thebarton.

The company is soon expected to gain approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of their laboratory facility based at Thebarton, which opened in March 2020 and manufactures a broad-spectrum live biotherapeutic product (LBP) for prevention of a recurrent gut infection, Clostridioides difficile, with plans to expand to treat other chronic gut conditions.

This next stage will also see the company develop multiple microbiome drug products in a bid to make more of an impact to patients across Asia Pacific.

BiomeBank and THRF Group Chair Dr Stephen Rodda said the new CEO appointment represents a significant milestone in the growth and success of the developing biotech company as they look to deliver more impact for patients with debilitating gut diseases across the Asia Pacific region.

“Thomas Mitchell brings strong expertise in microbiome drug development, having occupied previous leadership positions at both Finch Therapeutics and Microbiotica, key microbiome biotech companies in Boston USA and Cambridge UK,” Dr Rodda said.

“This is an exciting period for the Adelaide health and medical research community and BiomeBank as we head towards TGA approval for our product, which will be used to treat unmet medical need in many indications across Australia with the potential for global expansion.”

South Australia’s Chief Scientist Professor Caroline McMillen also applauded the new CEO appointment and the innovation mindset of the BiomeBank team.

“I was thrilled to hear Thomas Mitchell accepted this position and was relocating to Adelaide, which is emerging as a magnet city, attracting talent from across the globe,” Prof McMillen said.

“I’m very much looking forward to the many innovations for gut health that will be made possible through BiomeBank with a passionate expert team at the helm.”

Mr Mitchell will be backed by the expertise of Chief Medical Officer Dr Sam Costello and Chief Technology Officer Dr Sam Forster, both of whom have made important contributions to the microbiome field.

Mr Mitchell, who has now finished his mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine in Adelaide, expressed his excitement stating the conditions are right for BiomeBank to make a meaningful impact on the global stage.

“It is an exciting opportunity to return to Australia and be based in Adelaide, joining a world-class team of microbiome experts to develop microbiome therapeutics,” he said.

“With BiomeBank’s talent and pipeline we are well-positioned to be a leader in the field.”