2023 Year End Update

December 14, 2023
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2023 Year End Update

Through your support, Achieving Cures Together has made a lasting impact in patient lives and medical care. With the University of Minnesota Microbiota Therapeutics Program, we have treated over 2,000 patients with recurrent C. difficile Infections and provided over 4,500 microbiota transplant treatments to patients in clinical trials. And our academic partnerships and research indications connected with microbial health continue to expand.


  1. Our partners in the Boston’s Children’s Hospital are testing microbiota transplant therapy in a placebo-controlled trial as a treatment of Peanut Allergies in children.
  2. A placebo-controlled clinical trial of microbiota transplant therapy at the University of Minnesota showed promise for Ulcerative Colitis. The preliminary results were presented at the top international Digestive Disease Conference in May of 2023. Some of the results of changes in the composition of gut microbes are still being analyzed.
  3. Two placebo-controlled trials are underway at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle testing microbiota transplant therapy in patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation with the goal of decreasing infections and Graft-Versus-Host Disease.
  4. A placebo-controlled trial of microbiota transplant therapy in Advanced Liver Disease is ongoing at the Richmond VA and Virginia Commonwealth University.
  5. Placebo-controlled trials of microbiota transplant therapy in Autism and Pitt-Hopkins Disease have shown exceptional promise and the stage is set for follow-up trials with the FDA.
  6. A clinical trial for optimization of checkpoint immunotherapy in Lung Cancer is continuing at the University of Minnesota.
  7. A diet study to investigate the optimal diets that can nourish the gut microbes after an intestinal microbiota transplant in patients recovering from C. difficile infections at the University of Minnesota.
  8. A pilot clinical trial of microbiota transplant therapy in Hidradenitis Suppurativa, a painful chronic condition that causes abscesses and scarring of the skin.
  9. A pilot clinical trial of intestinal microbiota transplantation to improve healing after intestinal surgery.


  • Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis in partnership with the PSC Children’s Foundation.
  • Crohn’s Disease in partnership with the Helmsley Foundation.
  • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension at the University of Minnesota.
  • Alopecia Areata in collaboration with Columbia University.
  • Multi-Drug Antibiotic Resistance with Emory University and the Center for Disease Control.

Amidst the successes in patient treatment and research, we have also encountered obstacles this year. A grant application for collaboration between the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic researchers targeting Parkinson’s Disease failed to receive funding this year, putting the Parkinson’s clinical trial on hold.

We remain committed to treating patients with hard-to-cure C. difficile infections. Inspired by our work, two pharmaceutical companies received FDA approval for human stool-derived drugs indicated for recurrent C. difficile infections. We are hopeful this development will provide greater access to life-saving therapies to more patients. Unfortunately, these two medications are priced at approximately $10,000 and $20,000 respectively, for a single dose, and likely to be financially prohibitive for many patients. These commercial products are not approved for pediatric patients and are not formulated for actual treatment of severe C. difficile infections.

The University of Minnesota and OpenBiome are working with the FDA to develop regulations that will enable nonprofits to provide access to alternative safe and effective microbiota-based products for the many patients who remain in need. Currently, the FDA is allowing our partnership with OpenBiome, through which we can help many patients suffering with C. difficile infections across the United States. However, we believe it is critical to develop long-term policies that prioritize patient care rather than the profits of drug companies.

Our unique academic and non-profit partnership puts patients first and tackles problems avoided by the pharmaceutical industry because of their profit-driven business model. We support scientific research that is not at risk of bias from commercial considerations. A major focus of Achieving Cures Together is the support of the only academic facility that manufactures microbiota-based therapeutics. This facility is at the heart of our missions: helping patients today and advancing research toward development of cures for patients tomorrow.

Your support is critical as we move forward this New Year. Thank you for your continued partnership in our mission as we save lives through microbiota research.

This September, Achieving Cures Together hosted our annual fundraiser, Growing Hope, at the Sovereign Estates Winery. Thanks to the generosity and support of our ten corporate sponsors and 215 guests, we raised $115,000 for microbiota treatments for patients and research. Our keynote speaker was Dr. Alexander Khoruts, Director of the University of Minnesota Microbiota Therapeutics Program.

The program highlighted:

  • The research advancements ACT and our partners have made both in our eight-year history and the expansion in recent research projects.
  • An Ulcerative Colitis patient’s remarkable recovery after Microbiota Therapy.
  • The increasing challenges patients, healthcare providers and researchers face in our finance-driven healthcare model.
  • How ACT’s partnership with the University of Minnesota is saving lives and driving the leading research in gut restoration.

The full program and individual speaker clips are available at: www.achievingcures.com/2023growinghope.


In October, Achieving Cures Together hosted the Minnesota premiere of the documentary, Designer $hit at the Trylon Cinema. The film follows Saffron Cassaday’s struggle with Ulcerative Colitis and her journey with Fecal Microbiota Transplants. Following the premiere, ACT hosted a panel discussion with guest speakers including physicians, researchers and patient advocates:

The panel discussion featured topics including:

  • How do Fecal Microbiota Transplants work?
  • Are DIY Fecal Microbiota Transplants Safe?
  • A parent’s perspective on finding treatment for Ulcerative Colitis
  • Are Fecal Microbiota Transplants regulated and how does that impact patient access and research?
  • Is there a difference in the efficacy of enema versus oral Fecal Microbiota Transplant?
  • What factors contribute to a successful stool donor?

You can view the full panel discussion as well as responses to individual questions on our website at: www.achievingcures.com/2023documentary. If you’d like to view the documentary, it is currently available for purchase at www.designershitdocumentary.com.


Achieving Cures Together’s dedicated race team trains throughout the year and is driven in their mission to raise funds for patient treatment and research. Many runners have a personal connection, either through their own health or a friend or family member, impacted by a condition tied to our gut bacteria. While sadly, weather conditions didn’t allow for the marathon to take place this year, many of our race team members ran the race virtually. This year, our TCM race team raised $11,750 towards microbiota treatments and research. Thank you to our runners and sponsors!


With the beginning of winter and the holiday season under way, it’s hard to believe that registration for the 2024 Colfax Marathon next spring is already open! ACT and our Denver-based Run for Nana team will be running the 5k, 10-miler, half and full marathons over race weekend on May 18-19, 2024. Register today to access the lowest race fees available! For registration information, e-mail info@achievingcures.com.



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