Faecal microbiota transplant (FMT) is an established and effective treatment for recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) and has many other potential clinical applications. However, preparation and quality of FMT is poorly standardised and clinical studies are hampered by a lack of well-defined FMT formulations that meet regulatory standards for medicines. As an alternative to FMT suspensions for administration by nasojejunal tube or colonoscopy, which is invasive and disliked by many patients, this study aimed to develop a well-controlled, standardised method for manufacture of lyophilised FMT capsules and to provide stability data allowing storage for extended time periods. Faecal donations were collected from healthy, pre-screened individuals, homogenised, filtered and centrifuged to remove dietary matter. The suspension was centrifuged to pellet bacteria, which were resuspended with trehalose and lyophilised to produce a powder which was filled into 5 enteric-coated capsules (size 0). Live-dead bacterial cell quantitative PCR assay showed <10 fold viable bacterial load reduction through the manufacturing process. No significant loss of viable bacterial load was observed after storage at -80 °C for 36 weeks (p = 0.24, n = 5). Initial clinical experience demonstrated that the capsules produced clinical cure in patients with CDI with no adverse events reported (n = 7). We provide the first report of a detailed manufacturing protocol and specification for an encapsulated lyophilised formulation of FMT. As clinical trials into intestinal microbiota interventions proceed, it is important to use a well-controlled investigational medicinal product in the studies so that any beneficial results can be replicated in clinical practice.
- Faecal microbiota transplant
- Quality control