The concept of using microorganisms as medicines is not a new concept. In fact, it is thought that FMT was first used in 4th Century China as a treatment for diarrhoea. In modern medicine, case reports involving FMT date back as far as the 1950’s. Since then, there has been rapidly growing scientific and medical interest in FMT as a treatment and more recently, a powerful research tool when combined with deep microbial analysis of donors and patients (McIlroy et al 2017).
Although FMT is a promising alternative to antibiotic therapy, clinicians that wish to provide the treatment currently face several challenges. One challenge is that doctors have to source donors and process samples themselves. This takes considerable and valuable time, energy, cost and resources. A further challenge is that FMT is currently manufactured using non-standardised processes and systems that expose the donor material to the external environment. This may compromise the desired result or effect of FMT. Without a scalable process capable of producing safe, high-quality off-the-shelf product, FMT will never reach its potential as a treatment and as a research tool.
We formed EnteroBiotix after recognising that the emerging field of microbiota therapy was being held back by lack of access to safe products produced from a regulated facility. Our immediate aim is to reduce the costs and inconveniences currently associated with providing FMT by using our platform to produce next-generation allogenic and autologous microbial products that doctors can use for in the procedure. Our longer-term aim is to use our platform and product pipeline to facilitate research into the creation of rationally designed microbial consortia that will remove the need for healthy donors and FMT as it is currently performed.