People in Arizona have a unique opportunity to earn a little extra cash every month as a biotech company is asking for people to stop by and drop something off. Seres Therapeutics, headquartered in Massachusetts, opened a new building in Tempe on Thursday, and they’re asking for the community’s feces.
“Want to be compensated for donating stool?” the company’s website asks. “Everyone has to do their business. Make sure yours does some good.”
Seres Therapeutics needs human feces as it researches developments in gastrointestinal infections. The company is using a program called “Good Nature,” whose purpose is “to collect poop from healthy people and then study the poop in hopes of advancing medical treatment options or potentially providing commercial therapies for a potentially fatal gastrointestinal disease called C. difficile, or C. diff for short. C. diff is a bacterium that can cause a large range of symptoms, from everyday diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon.”
The company is working on a medication that will treat C. diff by using the stool from healthy individuals to manufacture a successful drug. “Healthy stool contains bacteria that can repopulate the patient’s gut and potentially prevent infections such as C. diff from recurring, [Alex] Murray explained,” according to The Arizona Republic. Murray is the vice president of manufacturing and supply chain operations at Seres. The medication treatment has been in development for nearly 10 years and still does not have approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but the company is optimistic about its success.
To help with its research, Seres Therapeutics will pay people up to $1,200 a month to come in and drop off their stool. Some people have made as much as $10,000 in one year just for their feces with similar programs, per the Republic.
But not everyone is eligible to participate in the crap collection. Seres Therapeutics is asking specifically for 18 to 50-year-olds, and everyone wanting to get cash for their feces must also fill out a questionnaire to ensure the company can benefit from their bowel movements. The questionnaire asks you to fill out general information about yourself and a health survey.
“Not everyone who wants to donate will qualify, company officials emphasized,” according to The Arizona Republic. To qualify, you must be between 18 and 50 years old, cannot be pregnant, are “normal weight,” refrain from smoking, and don’t have any history of gastrointestinal disease or alcohol or drug abuse.
Seres Therapeutics executives chose Tempe, Arizona, as the company’s third site after a national search for an area with a good stool collection opportunity. “We looked for folks based on lifestyle and demographics, mainly in terms of age, general fitness level and culture in the area,” Murray said. “As we went out to visit a shorter list of different opportunities, being really close to Arizona State University, the level of activity and innovation in public health in the community just made a really good fit.”
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