THE INTERSECTION OF THE GUT MICROBIOME AND NEUROLOGICAL DISEASE
Axial is at the forefront of scientific research validating how alterations and irregularities in the gut microbiome influence CNS functions such as emotions, communication, and motor and autonomic function. Our mission is rooted in the cutting-edge research of our scientific co-founder Dr. Sarkis Mazmanian at Caltech, whose groundbreaking work established several key concepts in the biology of the gut-brain axis, its role in neurodegenerative diseases and neurodevelopmental disorders, and the basis of the influence of the gut microbiome in people with autism and Parkinson’s disease (PD).
The Microbiome Gut-Brain Axis: Highway for New Drug Targets
Enteric Nervous System
Diversified technical risk
> 10 trillion bacteria
~ 500 bacterial species
Gut bacteria ≈ total human cells
The gut-brain axis encompasses bidirectional communication between the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the CNS. It is now well established that the gut micrombiome has a strong influence on this communication. This bidirection pathway is mediated via the autonomic nervous system, including: 1) the vagus nerve, which represents the main component of the parasympathetic nervous system, which oversees a vast array of crucial bodily functions, including control of mood, immune response, digestion, and heart rate; 2) the enteric nervous system, referred to by scientists as the ‘second brain,’ which consists of hundreds of millions of neurons that extend along the length of the digestive tract and communicates subtle changes within the GI tract to the brain; and 3) the immune system, a pathway that gut microbiota can alter messages to the brain by affecting immune cells and their responses to inflammation and infection.
Blazing a New Trail in the Treatment of Neurological Diseases and Disorders
Axial’s scientific focus on the microbiome gut-brain axis represents a transformative therapeutic approach that has potential to treat neurological diseases and disorders in ways never before possible. Using the microbiome as a source for new drug targets, we are developing gut-targeted small molecule therapeutics with little to no systemic absorption.