EuroBiotix CIC is an award winning social enterprise that was incorporated on November 5th 2014 (SC490561). A CIC is a special type of limited company that exists to benefit the community rather than solely private shareholders. The organisation was established to meet an unmet need for safe access to a medical treatment called Faecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT). FMT (also called stool/poo transplantation) is a treatment that is recommended when standard therapies fail to treat symptoms caused by a bacteria called Clostridium difficile (C.diff). EuroBiotix CIC is based within the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.
C.diff is a bacterium that lives harmlessly in the gut of approximately 3-5% of the healthy population.
It's presence alone is not enough to cause symptoms. C.diff only causes disease when the numbers of normal bacteria in the gut are depleted, usually by someone taking a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics alter the normal levels of bacteria found in the gut, allowing C.diff to grow to unusually high levels. The first treatment used for a C.diff infection is to stop the antibiotic that allows C.diff to grow. As a replacement, a new antibiotic that does not help C.diff to grow is introduced. This will be sufficient to cure the C.diff infection in most patients. However, some patients have recurrent or refractory C.diff infections. Treating recurrent episodes of C.diff is difficult, and some patients undergo multiple rounds of antibiotic therapy. This places a large burden on our National Health Service (NHS) and significantly reduces the quality of life of the sufferer.
For patients with recurrent C.diff infections, the best treatment is FMT, which has a cure rate of over 90%. The aim of FMT is to restore a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut of people with a C.diff infection by introducing gut bacteria from the faeces of a healthy donor.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued full guidance to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland supporting the use of FMT for recurrent C.diff infection in March 2014.
At the present time, clinicians that wish to perform FMT are faced with a number of difficulties. One difficulty is that, because there is no national donor registry, it is hard to find suitable donors for the procedure. Doctors have to source donors themselves and then screen them for infectious diseases. This process is time consuming and inefficient. It can take many weeks and sometimes even months for the doctor to find a suitable donor whilst the patient suffers.
In addition to the logistical challenges associated with sourcing and screening a suitable donor, a further challenge that doctors face is that they often have to prepare the faecal material themselves, which takes time and is somewhat unpleasant. This undoubtedly deters doctors from administering FMT - even in patients for whom it may be the preferred treatment.
Our mission is to support clinicians who wish to perform faecal transplantation. To do so, we are developing a range of market leading services and products that will catalyse research into the gut microbiome, and dramatically reduce the costs and inconveniences associated with performing FMT.