2021 Q2 Newsletter

July 30, 2021
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Meet members of ACT’s TCM Race Team! Thomas Meacham & Sara Kitze

We were introduced to Achieving Cures Together in 2019 by our close friends, Ashley and Ricky Margarit.  When you learn about the struggles and pain of people you love, you want to be able to show support and solidarity with them. ACT was one way we felt we could do that with Ashley, who fights and manages through a disease that ACT will one day hopefully cure. We are inspired by her and encouraged by the breakthroughs in microbiome research. When we run for ACT, we are running for our friend and supporting an organization that reduces suffering and saves lives, I can’t imagine better causes than that!

Meet all our race team members and their inspiring reasons to run for healing and hope at www.achievingcures.com/2021tcmarathon!

Save the date for our fall fundraiser!

Mark your calendars for a relaxing evening including a wine and food pairings, live music, and engaging speakers at the breathtaking Winery at Sovereign Estates. Stay tuned for more details when registration opens later this month!

Join ACT’s Run for Nana team in person this October at the 2021 Colfax Marathon Weekend!

Since 2016, Emily Haller has been running to celebrate her dear Nana whose life was taken too early by C. difficile. To date, our Run for Nana team has raised nearly $95,000 to support C. difficile treatment and research!

We’d love for you to join us for Colfax Race Weekend in Denver over October 15-17, 2021! Not ready to commit to a full marathon? No problem! There are five race options available including the 5K, 10 Miler, Marathon Relay, Half Marathon & Marathon. To join or support our Run for Nana team, head to www.achievingcures.com/colfaxmarathon

ACT Tumbler Giveaway!

Missed snagging ACT’s Klean Kanteen Tumbler last summer? Start a recurring monthly donation of $25 or more in July or August and you’ll receive this free gift as a thank you for your continued support! Enjoy your favorite beverage in yours this summer while moving research forward to find cures and save lives! Visit www.achievingcures.com/donateto set up your recurring donation today!

Updates from the University of Minnesota Microbiota Therapeutics Program

Fighting C. difficile infections. This has been our foundational fight. C. difficile infections typically are complications of antibiotic exposure and standard therapies rely on antibiotics as well. Not surprisingly, the infections cannot be cured by antibiotics alone in many patients, who then become caught in an endless cycle of antibiotic treatments. The definitive treatment that can break the cycle is repair of the gut microbes. A single administration of donor microbes results in a cure in approximately 80-90% of patients.

We are now the only academic program that is manufacturing microbiota-based products in accordance with the full pharmaceutical standards (Good Manufacturing Practices) at an FDA approved facility. We are the only program that provides these products to patients free of charge. Most of our patients participate in research studies that help to understand how these products remodel the gut microbial communities by providing samples before and after their treatment. These studies are essential for developing next-generation microbiota-based treatments that will be even better. All clinical outcomes of our treatments are captured in a prospective registry that was started in 2019 and has accumulated over 250 treatments so far.


Active interventional clinical trials.

·        Placebo-controlled trials of microbiota transplant therapy for autism and Pitt-Hopkins disease led by Drs. James Adams and Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown at the Arizona State University.

·        Placebo-controlled trials led by Dr. Armin Rashidi at the University of Minnesota in patients on intensive chemotherapy and receiving bone marrow transplantation for acute leukemia. Recruitment will reach half-way point this fall, at which time an interim analysis will be performed.

·        The placebo-controlled trial on ulcerative colitis led by Dr. Byron Vaughn at the University of Minnesota.

·        The placebo-controlled trial on preventing complications of advanced liver disease led by Dr. Jasmohan Bajaj at the Virginia Commonwealth University.


COVID research. This year, the Microbiota Therapeutics Team jumped into action to collaborate with Dr. Marc Jenkins and his team in the Center for Immunology at the University of Minnesota to study the immune response to COVID vaccines in healthy people and patients receiving various immunosuppressive therapies, such as those with inflammatory bowel diseases. Some results are already in, and we plan to continue a series of public seminars on this topic via ACT. Announcements should be coming shortly.


Research horizon:

·        Develop optimal nutritional support after a microbiota transplant to ensure the health of the new microbial community.

·        Develop a panel of microbial markers to stratify colon cancer risk.

·        Develop rapid and quantitative tests to measure antibiotic resistance gene burden in the gut.


Challenges. Our main challenge right now is to maintain our GMP facility and trained people for manufacturing the microbiota transplant products. This is a unique resource for research in the United States that is independent of drug companies. It would not be in existence today without Achieving Cures Together!


Dr. Alexander Khoruts


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