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Framework for rational donor selection in fecal microbiota transplant clinical trials
Published: October 10, 2019

Am J Gastroenterol. 2020 Jan 10. doi: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000000499. [Epub ahead of print]
Understanding the Scope of Do-It-Yourself Fecal Microbiota Transplant.


Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has emerged as an effective treatment option for Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) and is considered an investigational therapy for a number of other diseases. Social media has facilitated widespread exposure of the public to the gut microbiome and FMT, ultimately acting as a catalyst for the Do-It-Yourself (DIY)-FMT movement. The aims of this study were to identify factors that influenced willingness to pursue DIY-FMT including common indications, screening processes, sample preparation, and self-reported efficacy and safety outcomes.

A twenty-five-point cross-sectional survey was posted online through the websites and social media pages of the Peggy Lillis Foundation, The Fecal Transplant Foundation, and The Power of Poop. Responses were cataloged through the Research Electronic Data Capture tool, and descriptive analyses were performed.

Eighty-four respondents completed the survey between January 2018 and February 2019. The majority were female (71%) and white (92%). Most (80%) reported performing FMT on themselves; 87% used Internet resources to assist in the process, and 92% knew their stool donor. Inflammatory bowel disease (35%) and irritable bowel syndrome (29%) were the 2 most common conditions that respondents attempted to treat. Only 12% reported adverse events, whereas 82% reported improvement in their condition.

DIY-FMT is being used for many indications, including those for which there is little evidence. There was a high self-reported success rate among respondents with few adverse events. There is a need for increased awareness around DIY-FMT and research around this phenomenon, which may impact public health.

Drugs From Bugs: Why Gates, Zuck And Benioff Think The Next Blockbusters Will Come From Inside Your Gut
Forbes magazine Feb 7, 2020.

"The race is on for FDA approval of the first drug made from gut bacteria. But the science is young and unproven. At Oppenheimer in New York, Mark Breidenbach says investor enthusiasm in microbiome companies is on a downswing because “there is no consensus about what the microbiome can do.” Amusa is more bullish. “The science is turning,” he says. “When it comes through with proof, these biotech companies will be worth not hundreds of millions of dollars, but billions. " "

"In the U.S., more than a million people suffer from autism, and there are no drugs to treat it; an additional million have Parkinson’s. What would be the value of an FDA-approved drug for either condition? “I can’t give you a market size,” says Donabedian. “But if either one hits, it will be huge.”

Chris Howerton, a biotechnology analyst at Jefferies, a New York investment bank, is less shy. “If every single microbiome paper turns into a proven therapy, it could impact the drug markets for most major categories of disease, which together were worth $350 billion in 2018 in the U.S. alone,” he says. “The breadth of the microbiome’s potential application is really tantalizing.”

San Diego
Two dead and four hospitalized after fecal transplants from OpenBiome:

Two dead and four hospitalized after fecal transplants from OpenBiome:

It's concerning, but this organization has treated about 55,000 people according to the article, so it's still a good track record. No one should ever die though. At times only the sickest patients are getting these FMT treatments, people dying with C. difficile, so considering that, one could say it's still a very good safety record.