Last week we rounded up a list of some of the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking startups out there right now who are actually making the world a better place. One of those is OpenBiome, a non-profit organisation started in 2012 to help patients suffering from the bacterial infection C. difficile. How? By fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), or more simply, poop transplants. The results of the work at OpenBiome have been astounding, with a 90% success rate of curing C. difficile. The organisation is now supported by stool donors in excess of 10,000 and works with around 960 hospitals across the US.
OpenBiome is changing lives thanks to the increasing evidence of the crucial impact of gut health and the microbiome on our overall health – with potential applications in a range of areas, from Parkinson’s to mental health. The company is pioneering research in this field, currently supporting 14 clinical trials.
We wanted to get to the bottom of this fascinating new medicine, so we caught up with founder Mark Smith to get down and dirty on stool banks, fecal transplants, and how this research is revolutionising medicine.