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FDA approves first FMT therapy and issues guidance

What does this mean for GIs and other health care professionals treating CDI?
Female health professional wearing scrubs and hairnet in lab
Female health professional wearing scrubs and hairnet in lab

On Nov. 30, FDA approved the first fecal microbiota therapy for recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI). This approval came days after FDA issued guidance on regulatory requirements for stool banks providing fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) products. Here is a summary of the regulatory actions and what they mean for GIs and our patients with recurrent CDI. 

FDA approves Rebyota®

FDA approved Rebyota® (Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc.) for the prevention of recurrence of CDI in patients 18 years of age and older who have completed antibiotic treatment for recurrent CDI.  

FDA requires stool banks to comply with investigational new drug (IND) requirements

In a change of previous guidance, FDA will now require stool banks who provide FMT products to comply with IND requirements, effective immediately. For now, health care professionals can still use appropriately screened material donated by individuals (donor stool) for FMT procedures in patients with recurrent CDI whose symptoms do not respond to antibiotic therapies.  

The nonprofit stool bank OpenBiome announced it will continue operating normally under IND and remains committed to providing safe and continued access to FMT. OpenBiome and its partner, the University of Minnesota Microbiota Therapeutics Program, are working with FDA to ensure that their regulatory filings are consistent with the finalized guidance. View FAQs from OpenBiome here. 

What does this mean for gastroenterologists, other health care professionals who treat CDI, and patients?

  1. There is now an FDA-approved, microbiota-based therapy for the prevention of recurrent CDI in adult patients who have previously completed antibiotic treatment. 
  2. Stool banks can continue to operate and provide FMT material as long as they are compliant with the FDA’s IND requirements. 
  3. Health care professionals using FMT material from known donors (i.e., stool provided by individuals and not from a stool bank) should abide by the following requirements outlined in the FDA’s November 2022 final guidance: 
    • Obtain appropriate informed consent from the patient or their legally authorized representative. 
    • Perform appropriate screening and testing of the stool donor and stool. 
    • Follow procedures that mitigate potential safety concerns, such as appropriate storage and handling of donor stool. 

AGA looks forward to future advances in this field. We will continue to follow the long-term effectiveness and safety of patients receiving Rebyota, FMT and other microbiota-based therapies through our FMT National Registry. For more information about CDI and FMT, visit patient.gastro.org.

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