CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In October 2013, OpenBiome processed and shipped its first fecal microbiota preparation to the physician of a 91-year-old woman suffering from a devastating recurrence of Clostridium difficile.Her fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) cured the infection. This effort was one of the first steps in our mission to expand safe access to FMT – a life-saving, but then uncommon, medical procedure for patients with recurrent C. difficile infections. That same year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified C. difficile as one of the three most urgent drug-resistant threats in the United States.
Five years later, OpenBiome is celebrating a major milestone: our 40,000th FMT treatment.
On October 3, 2018, the week of our fifth anniversary, we processed and shipped our 40,000th FMT preparation. In partnership with stool donors and healthcare professionals across the country, these treatments have traveled to a network of more than 1,100 hospitals and clinics that have reshaped medical care for patients with recurrent C. difficile.
“For patients, an FMT can mean a stop to endless cycles of bacterial infection, the ability to eat and enjoy a meal for the first time in months, and a return to their normal lives.” said Carolyn Edelstein, OpenBiome’s Executive Director. “When OpenBiome first started, I dreamed our work would one day impact a thousand people. This milestone is a testament to patients and doctors who have championed FMT and helped expand access to more people than we ever thought possible.”
One past patient shared the effect C. difficile and FMT had on her life:
“This is such a debilitating disease in terms of changing your lifestyle, unrelenting worry about the return of diarrhea, or a negative trajectory leading to toxic megacolon, sepsis, and death,” she wrote.
“In March, I had my FMT. I consider it a miracle. Almost 15 weeks post-transplant, I am doing well and just returned from a trip to the United Kingdom, Portugal and Spain to celebrate my 72nd birthday. I know why this was possible, and I am forever grateful.”
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OpenBiome is the first public stool bank, founded to expand safe access to fecal transplantation for patients with recurrent C. difficile infections and to catalyze research on the microbiome’s role in human health. OpenBiome provides clinicians with rigorously screened, ready-to-use preparations and supports researchers with a suite of tools to discover how gut bacteria might treat diseases beyond C. difficile.Since 2013, OpenBiome has partnered with over 1,100 healthcare institutions across all 50 states and internationally to deliver more than 40,000 treatments for recurrent C. difficile.Its research portfolio includes 34% of all active and completed trials in the United States exploring the use of fecal transplants to treat disease. For more information, visit http://www.openbiome.org.