Model & Strategy
Open Biome is a nonprofit stool bank, expanding safe access to fecal transplants and catalyzing research into the human microbiome. They work with clinicians to make Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) easier, cheaper, safer and more widely available. They provide hospitals with screened, frozen material ready for clinical use. This service eliminates the time, staff, protocols, and facilities needed to screen and prepare material from new donors for each treatment.
OpenBiome currently utilizes safe access to fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) for patients suffering from recurrent Clostridium difficile infections. They provide doctors with rigorously screened, ready-to-use stool preparations for use in FMT, and support researchers with a suite of tools to discover new applications of FMT for treating diseases beyond C. difficile. Using a universal stool banking model, OpenBiome eliminates the practical and financial barriers to providing FMT.
While completing his PhD in microbiology at MIT, co-founder and Research Director Mark Smith studied how the good bacteria living in our guts could be transferred through fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) to cure patients with deadly C. difficile infections. This academic interest became personal when a close family friend contracted C diff and fought the disease for nearly 2 years.
In 2012, Mark teamed up with co-founder and Executive Director James Burgess to launch OpenBiome and build the public health infrastructure needed to enable FMT for the hundreds of thousands of patients suffering from C diff in this country. Their vision is also to build OpenBiome as a center for research and inquiry into the role these bacteria play in changing health outcomes for millions of other Americans.
Mark completed his PhD in microbiology at MIT where his research was published in leading journals like Nature, PNAS, and NEJM.
James previously worked as a management consultant at Bain & Company and as a project manager at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
OpenBiome has significantly expanded access for patients who previously could not find a physician to perform FMT.
Since 2013, OpenBiome has partnered with over 800 medical facilities across all 50 U.S. states and 6 countries to deliver more than 20,000 treatments for recurrent C. difficile.
A leader in the field of FMT research, OpenBiome is also facilitating 13 clinical trials. Its portfolio includes 49% of all U.S. trials exploring the use of FMT to treat diseases beyond C. difficile.