The Microbiome Health Research Institute, d.b.a. OpenBiome, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding safe access to fecal microbiota transplants (FMT), and to catalyzing research into the human microbiome. Founded by a team of doctors, scientists and public health advocates, OpenBiome has two primary objectives:
First, we aim to eliminate the practical barriers to fecal microbiota transplantation.
We believe that every C. difficile patient should have safe, convenient and affordable access to FMT. We strive to make the path to treatment as simple as possible for patients and physicians alike, while bringing a level of safety and standardization to the process that has set the standard for this emerging field. We provide rigorously screened, ready-to-use fecal microbiota preparations so that physicians can devote their time and energy to treating patients, rather than the complexities of managing a stool donor program.
Second, we seek to enable translational research into the human microbiome.
We believe that there are many opportunities to learn from the microbiome and apply these lessons to improve human health. We provide a range of services to unlock this potential. Our research services include providing tailored fecal microbiota preparations to bioinformatics and analytical services to regulatory support. We also provide assistance in clinical trial design and commission our own studies of exceptional interest.
Read more about our mission.
Why did we launch OpenBiome?
In 2011, a close friend of ours contracted a C. difficile infection after a routine surgery, and antibiotic treatment wasn't working. For 18 months, we watched him suffer with this debilitating illness and several rounds of failed treatment. Knowing the evidence supporting the use of fecal transplantation to treat recurrent C. difficile infection, he sought but couldn't find a clinician who could perform the treatment for him. When he finally received a life-changing fecal transplant, the effect was remarkable. Within a couple of days he had his life back.
Motivated by the frustration of watching our friend struggle to access this effective treatment, and by scientific curiosity about FMT's potential, we founded OpenBiome in late 2012. We wanted to help make FMT safe and accessible for patients with recurrent C. difficile infection, and to give more clinicians access to the carefully screened samples necessary to perform FMT.
Despite the underlying simplicity and efficacy of FMT, prior to OpenBiome, it had become difficult for clinicians to offer FMT at a scale that matched patient needs because of the challenges of identifying and screening donors and processing stool material. OpenBiome strives to simplify the FMT process by freeing clinicians to focus on providing care and conducting research rather than processing stool preparations and filing paperwork.