New poo transplant facility coming to Norwich after £500k funding boost

Dr Ngozi Elumogu and Prof Arjan Narbad from the Quadram Institude

Dr Ngozi Elumogu and Prof Arjan Narbad from the Quadram Institude - Credit: Quadram Institute

A team of Norfolk-based scientists have been awarded half a million pounds to invest in a vital, but stomach-churning, medical treatment.

The Quadram Institute (QI), which is based at the Norwich Research Park on the edge of the city, has been given a grant of £500,000 for its 'poo transplant' facility.

The site uses a procedure, known medically as faecal microbiota transplant (FMT), which sees healthy poo particles implanted in the stomachs of people dealing with issues such as diarrhoea and other infections.

It has proved effective in more than 90pc of patients in Norwich, with 26 people at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital given the treatment by the institute.

This success has led to QI receiving a grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council to build and equip a new facility on site for the procedure.

Prof Arjan Narbad, from the institute, said: "This is a significant investment which will give us and the hospital the facilities we need to progress both a clinical service and further research into FMT."

The investment will mean that the procedure can be offered to more patients in the region.

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Currently the institute works in partnership with NNUH to offer the treatment - but this will mean patients from further afield can also benefit.

Construction of the new facility is expected to take around nine months to complete.

The institute will also need a licence from the Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. 

Experts estimate that the bacterial infection Clostridioides difficile infections (C.diff) alone costs the NHS £500m every year with around 15,000 cases treated annually.

FMT helps break the cycle of this infection, and experts hope it will become an increasingly important way tackle the problem.