OpenBiome freezes patients’ stools in a microbial biobank, and uses them to fight infections and restore good gut bacteria.
While useful for preventing infections, antibiotics can impact a patient’s own gut microbial community, which is necessary for healthy digestion. To combat this, OpenBiome has developed a technique for patients to repopulate their own unique healthy bacterial community — using their own feces.
Called PersonalBiome, the process involves patients creating their own ‘microbiome’ bank using a stool sample. The sample is then frozen and stored, ready for reactivation when required, in a similar way to sperm or egg freezing. The PersonalBiome is then delivered to the patient by orally administered capsules. This is an extension of OpenBiome’s “Fecal Microbiota Transplantation” technique, where donor feces are used to treat antibiotic-resistant infections picked up in hospitals — the trials show a success rate of over 90 percent.
As probiotic innovations move into the era of hyper-individualization, they provide yet another solution to the growing dilemma of antibiotic resistance. What other drug avenues can be individually tailored?