OpenBiome, the nation’s first public stool bank, will soon end its program for collecting, screening, and shipping material for fecal microbiota transplants, or FMT, the company announced Tuesday.
It won’t be immediate; the company plans to resume shipping the stool it has in its inventory to physicians in May while it begins to wind down its program. It isn’t clear when the last shipment will occur. After the program is shuttered, OpenBiome will stay open, redoubling its microbiome research efforts, Carolyn Edelstein, OpenBiome’s executive director, told STAT.
The change comes after a yearlong pause in the organization’s operations, which the organization’s press release acknowledged created a financial strain. In a typical year, OpenBiome shipped thousands of treatments; in 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, it shipped a little more than 200.