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Oral Fecal Transplant in Cirrhosis

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03152188
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 12, 2017
Last Update Posted : May 19, 2021
Medical College of Wisconsin
Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Virginia Commonwealth University

Brief Summary:
To evaluate the safety and tolerability of oral fecal transplant in patients with cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Hepatic Encephalopathy Cirrhosis, Liver Drug: FMT Other: Placebo Phase 1

Detailed Description:

Hepatic encephalopathy affects 30-45% of patients with cirrhosis and adversely affects survival in these patients. The mainstay of treatment for hepatic encephalopathy (HE) has long been the manipulation of the gut microbiota through antibiotics, prebiotics or probiotics. The current first and second line therapies for HE in the US are lactulose and rifaximin respectively that uniquely act within the confines of the gut lumen with encouraging clinical results. However there is a subset of patients with HE that continues to recur despite being on both treatments. This patient group is at a higher risk of poor outcomes because HE has now been removed from liver transplant priority and multiple episodes of HE can result in cumulative brain injury which may be irreversible. Therefore the prevention of recurrent HE is an important therapeutic goal.

The study team's research and other reports have shown that patients with HE and cirrhosis are more likely to have overgrowth of potentially pathogenic bacterial taxa such as Enterobacteriaceae and reduction of autochthonous species such as Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae in the stool and the colonic mucosa. This has been linked to poor performance on cognitive tests that are a hallmark of HE and with increased systemic inflammation in these patients.

Therefore a gut-based therapeutic option that can potentially improve the recurrence rate and the overall prognosis is needed. Fecal transplant has been shown to be effective in conditions with predominant gut-bacterial overgrowth or alteration such as recurrent Clostridium difficile and inflammatory bowel disease. Safe protocols have been developed across the world and studies are being performed in the US under FDA-monitored INDs. Limitations to performing fecal transplant include identifying and screening appropriate donors, which is time consuming and costly, with the cost typically falling to the patient or donor as the required screening is generally not covered by insurance. For this reason, the study team is particularly interested in working with Openbiome and have obtained their collaboration towards performing this Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) by cross-referencing of their drug master file.

The preliminary data suggest that a one-time administration of an FMT-enema using a rationally-selected donor via Openbiome is safe in patients with cirrhosis and recurrent HE. However, given the small bowel overgrowth and the predominantly small bowel location for bacterial translocation in cirrhosis, which is out of the reach of an enema, an upper GI route for FMT needs to be explored. The FMT capsule by Openbiome acts on the small and large intestine and is available for C.difficile. It is potentially more acceptable to patients for repeated administrations and in cirrhosis has the advantage of acting on the small bowel in addition to the large bowel. The study will use a donor specifically selected from the Openbiome pool whose microbial profile best fulfils the microbiota deficits related to beneficial bacteria in HE patients, utilizing a "Precision Microbiome" approach.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 20 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Intervention Model Description: Placebo-controlled single-blind randomized trial
Masking: Double (Participant, Outcomes Assessor)
Masking Description: Single-blind study in which subjects will not be aware whether they will be on placebo or FMT capsulres
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Modulation of Gut-Brain Axis Using Fecal Transplant Capsules in Cirrhosis
Actual Study Start Date : June 12, 2017
Actual Primary Completion Date : November 12, 2018
Actual Study Completion Date : November 12, 2018

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: FMT
Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) capsules
Drug: FMT
Fifteen FMT Openbiome capsules administered at the same time

Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Placebo capsules
Other: Placebo
Fifteen placebo capsules administered at the same time

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Serious Adverse events related to FMT [ Time Frame: 5 months ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Frequency, severity and relatedness of solicited and unsolicited AEs [ Time Frame: 5 months ]

  2. Occurrence of new potentially transmitted infections in the FMT group [ Time Frame: 5 months ]

  3. Occurrence of new onset or significant worsening of chronic medical conditions post-FMT [ Time Frame: 5 months ]

  4. changes in microbiota composition of the stool, duodenal and sigmoid colonic mucosa after oral FMT compared to pre-FMT baseline and donor compared to placebo post-FMT [ Time Frame: 30 days ]

  5. mucosal defenses by studying antimicrobial peptides, inflammatory cytokine expression and barrier protein expression compared to pre-FMT baseline and compared to placebo [ Time Frame: 30 days ]

  6. cognitive function after oral FMT compared to pre-FMT baseline and compared to placebo [ Time Frame: 30 days ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 21-75 years of age
  • Cirrhosis diagnosed by either of the following in a patient with chronic liver disease (a) Liver Biopsy (b) Radiologic evidence of varices, cirrhosis or portal hypertension (c) Laboratory evidence of platelet count <100,000 or AST/ALT ratio>1 (d) Endoscopic evidence of varices or portal gastropathy
  • At least two HE episodes, one within the last year but not within the last month (patient can be on lactulose and rifaximin)
  • Able to give written, informed consent (mini-mental status exam>25 at the time of consenting)

Exclusion Criteria:

Disease-related: (1) MELD score>17 (2) WBC count<1000 (3) TIPS, non-elective hospitalization or HE within last month (4) on dialysis (5) known untreated, in-situ luminal GI cancers (6) chronic intrinsic GI diseases (ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease or microscopic colitis, eosinophilic gastroenteritis and celiac disease) Endoscopy-related: (1) Platelet count<50,000 (2) adverse reactions to sedation (3) lack of driver or other contra-indications Safety-related: (1) Dysphagia (2) History of aspiration, gastroparesis, intestinal obstruction (3) Ongoing absorbable antibiotic use (4) Severe anaphylactic food allergy (5) allergy to ingredients Generally Recognized As Safe in the G3 capsules (glycerol, sodium chloride, hypromellose, gellan gum, titanium dioxide, theobroma oil) (6) Adverse event attributable to prior FMT (7) ASA Class IV or V (8) Pregnant or nursing patients (9) acute illness or fever on the day of planned FMT

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT03152188

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United States, Virginia
Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center
Richmond, Virginia, United States, 23249
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia, United States, 23298
Sponsors and Collaborators
Virginia Commonwealth University
Medical College of Wisconsin
Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
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Principal Investigator: Jasmohan Bajaj, MD Virginia Commonwealth University
Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Virginia Commonwealth University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03152188    
Other Study ID Numbers: HM20009392
1R21TR002024 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: May 12, 2017    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: May 19, 2021
Last Verified: May 2021

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: Yes
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by Virginia Commonwealth University:
Hepatic Encephalopathy
FMT Capsule
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Liver Cirrhosis
Hepatic Encephalopathy
Brain Diseases
Pathologic Processes
Liver Diseases
Digestive System Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Liver Failure
Hepatic Insufficiency
Brain Diseases, Metabolic
Metabolic Diseases