Faecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT)
What is Faecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT)?
The concept of transferring bacteria from a healthy donor into a recipient with the intention of treating a disease is now known as Faecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT). FMT is an accepted treatment for an infection caused by a bacterium called C.difficile (CDI), with a large body of evidence showing that it is >90% effective in patients suffering from a recurrent form of the infection.
The rationale underpinning FMT’s efficacy is that by administering microbes from a healthy volunteer into at the intestinal tract of a patient suffering from CDI, the healthy microorganisms from the donor overrun or outcompete the organisms in the patient causing the disease.
This evidence has created a rapidly growing clinical and patient demand for FMT. However, adoption of FMT is critically limited because of the costs and logistical factors associated with finding donors and processing faecal donations.
Challenges in delivery FMT
At the present time, doctors who wish to perform FMT have identify suitable donors, screen them for infectious diseases and then process the faecal samples themselves using budget equipment and limited staff. Patients are sometimes so desperate that they resort to undertaking the treatment themselves. A study published by McIlroy et al in Frontline Gastroenterology reported that 10% of UK-based gastroenterologists were aware of a patient that had performed DIY FMT.
In addition to all of the above, FMT is currently administered through medical procedures such as colonoscopy and nasoduodenal tube, which are invasive and unpleasant for the patient. Finally, it is thought that the effectiveness of FMT in diseases beyond C.difficile infection can be enhanced by combining the faecal microbiota with other medicines or by enriching it with specific bacteria that have defined and beneficial effects in the recipient.
EnteroBiotix was formed to unlock the full therapeutic potential of FMT and to expand access for patients around the world. Learn more about the Company’s approach here.