OpenBiome seeks stool donors at its new Somerville location
Donors can help cure patients suffering from dangerous infection and earn financial compensation for their commitment
Somerville, MA – OpenBiome, a nonprofit stool bank, is seeking healthy individuals to enroll as stool donors at its new clinical site near Sullivan Square, in Somerville, MA. Individuals are also still able to donate at OpenBiome’s current site in Medford.
The stool samples will be used to treat patients suffering from recurrent episodes of C. difficile infection, the most common hospital-acquired infection in the U.S., and the cause of 30,000 deaths each year. Patients are treated with a procedure called a fecal transplant, in which a physician infuses stool from the healthy donor into the patient’s colon. Where antibiotics are only effective 30-40% of the time for these patients, fecal transplants have a cure rate of 80-90%.
The stool donations will also be used in clinical research across the U.S., exploring the use of fecal transplants and other microbiome-based therapies for the treatment of a range of diseases, including ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and others.
Donors are expected to enroll in the program for a minimum of two months, during which they will visit the OpenBiome clinic in Medford or Somerville 4-5 times per week to contribute stool. Donors will be compensated $40 per stool sample that they contribute during the program.
Donors are selected through a rigorous screening process that evaluates their health status and medical history. After joining the online donor registry, those who are eligible are invited in for a clinical interview, which is followed by blood and stool screening. Donors also undergo regular health screening throughout their participation in the program. Only those who can visit an OpenBiome location most days of the week will be eligible to apply. More information about selection criteria and how to become a stool donor is available at www.openbiome.org/stool-donation/.
OpenBiome is a nonprofit stool bank dedicated to expanding safe access to fecal microbiota transplantation and catalyzing research in the human microbiome. Founded by a team of microbiologists and public health advocates out of MIT, OpenBiome has facilitated more than 13,000 fecal transplants across 600 hospitals in all 50 U.S. states and 6 countries. With the new Somerville branch, an even broader pool of qualified donors will be able to help deliver this transformative treatment to patients.