Harnessing the Power of the Human Microbiome
Trillions of bacteria, viruses, and other microbes live in our bodies and work together to regulate processes critical to life including metabolism and the immune system. Collectively, the genetic material of these microbes forms the human microbiome.
The literal explosion of interest in the human microbiome has been sparked in part by the Human Microbiome Project, a 5-year effort sponsored by the US National Institutes of Health. The goal of the Human Microbiome Project was to characterize the microbial communities found at several different sites on the human body and to analyze the role of those microbes in human health and disease.
One of the focal points of the Human Microbiome Project was the human intestine. With its complex ecosystem and the most diverse microbes and the densest number of cells, the intestinal microbiome has continued to be a subject of intense research interest.
It is the goal of Rebiotix to harness the power of the microbiome to treat challenging gastrointestinal diseases by developing new biologic drugs.
In The News:
Fecal Transplant Superior to Vancomycin in Randomized Study
The results of the first randomized controlled study of fecal transplant (FT) demonstrated superiority compared with vancomycin for the treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).1 The results of the landmark FECAL trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in January 2013.
Of the 16 patients in the study who received a fecal transplant, 15 (94%) were cured of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea after either one or two fecal infusions.
Fecal Transplant Demonstrates High Efficacy in Single Center Study
Forty-nine patients with moderate to severe recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) who received a fecal transplant (FT) at the Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI, between May 2010 and 2011, recovered dramatically within 1-4 days.
There were no adverse events or documented recurrences with 100 days follow-up.
Importance of Gut Microbiota Increasingly Recognized
The role of the bacteria that colonizes the skin, gut, and other surfaces of the human body to health and disease is being increasingly recognized through research on the human microbiome.
More than 90% of the 4000 articles on scientific research indexed by PubMed on the human microbiome have been published within the past 5 years.
Fecal Transplantation Is Associated with Increased Microbial Diversity
There was striking similarity in the gut microbial communities of patients with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) following a successful fecal transplant (FT) in a pilot study using 16S rRNA gene sequencing analysis.