Life-saving treatment derives from something dirty, but flushes intestinal bacteria out

By KBJR News 1

August 12, 2014 Updated Aug 12, 2014 at 11:30 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- An unusual but potentially life–saving treatment that derives from human feces is making strides as one company conducts clinical trials.

Minnesota biotechnology company, Rebiotix, has raised $25 million in financing to continue researching new technologies to treat gastrointestinal diseases.

Officials announced a new "fecal transplant" treatment, that hopes to get FDA approval to bring a biologic drug, derived from human feces, to the treatment of particularly dangerous intestinal bacteria called C. diff.

Doctor Johan Bakken with St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth is one of two Duluth doctors responsible for discovering the treatment.

"To commercialize human stool as a treatment is a tall task. It takes significant capital. It takes times. You need to devote much of your spare time, if you wish, to that endeavor," Founder of Fecal Transplant, Johan Bakken, MD PhD, said.

Doctor Bakken sits on the board of Rebiotix. The procedure has a 90% success rate.