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.

At a Glance
Founded: 2012
Executive Director: Carolyn Edelstein
Health
Location of work: International
OpenBiome
200 Inner Belt Road
Somerville, MA 02143
Catalyzing research into the microbiome
Meet Mark Smith, James Burgess

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.

IMPACT

Nearly 500,000 individuals are affected by C. difficile each year, making it the most common hospital-acquired infection in the U.S. Each year, the infection kills 30,000. FMT has been shown to cure 85% of patients after a single treatment.

OpenBiome has significantly expanded access to FMT for patients. Since 2013, OpenBiome has partnered with over 1,100 medical facilities across all 50 U.S. states and seven countries to deliver more than 43,000 treatments.

 

 

A leader in the field of FMT research, OpenBiome has facilitated 30 clinical trial investigations of FMT across a spectrum of diseases and has partnered on the largest planned FMT study ever with the American Gastroenterological Association and the American Gut Project. OpenBiome has enabled strategic partner Finch Therapeutics to raise over $70 million in private capital to pursue FDA approval for an FMT product, which would be a first for the field.

In 2018, OpenBiome launched its global health microbiome initiative and launched a trial of FMT for severe acute malnutrition in children at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. The new initiative will also drive research in multidrug-resistant bacterial infections.

  • Today, @US_FDA held a meeting on the regulation of #FMT. OpenBiome spoke along with dozens of others, including key… https://t.co/LTvnXSNJI7
  • RT @DrJessicaA: Our work on donor screening for #fmt now available in @NEJM hopefully this data will aid in the important discussions surro…
  • Today, we published a research letter in @NEJM presenting our donor screening program - which has accepted just 2.5… https://t.co/48AGKDzRfn
  • Thank you @GLG! Thrilled to be a part of the 2019 class of #GLGImpact Fellows among such great company. https://t.co/CltQUCdZyb
  • As we wrap up our first-ever month of fundraising, we would like to send a big THANK YOU to the nearly 100 new supp… https://t.co/b5W974zVwD
  • Thank you for supporting OpenBiome’s Patient Assistance Program! On Wed, we were excited to see many of you at Open… https://t.co/axrmeLY9vi
  • OpenBiome makes it simpler and faster for patients to receive fecal transplants. Every dollar donated will go towar… https://t.co/4fb8sSEDeH
  • UPDATE: Thank you for supporting our Patient Assistance Program! Now, until the end of Sept, receive a free sticker… https://t.co/mNLk1jFolf
  • Fecal transplants successfully treat 84% of recurrent C. difficile infections. This September, #BeAPooperHero. Ever… https://t.co/RhHabytdfT