Home Muhammad Man receives genetically modified pig heart in world’s first transplant

Man receives genetically modified pig heart in world’s first transplant

0

The operation, performed by a team at the University of Maryland Medicine, is among the first to demonstrate the feasibility of pig-to-human heart transplantation, an area made possible by new gene editing tools.

Reuters

11 January 2022, 08:35

Last modification: January 11, 2022, 10:53 AM

Surgeon Muhammad M Mohiuddin, MD leads a team that places a genetically engineered pig heart in a storage device at the Xenotransplant lab before it is transplanted into David Bennett, a 57-year-old patient with end-stage heart disease, in University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, January 7, 2022. Photo taken January 7, 2022. University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) / Document via REUTERS.

“>

Surgeon Muhammad M Mohiuddin, MD leads a team that places a genetically engineered pig heart in a storage device at the Xenotransplant lab before it is transplanted into David Bennett, a 57-year-old patient with end-stage heart disease, in University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, January 7, 2022. Photo taken January 7, 2022. University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) / Document via REUTERS.

American man with end-stage heart disease had genetically engineered pig heart implanted in one-of-a-kind surgery, and three days later the patient is doing well, his doctors reported Monday.

The surgery, performed by a team at the University of Maryland Medicine, is among the first to demonstrate the feasibility of pig-to-human heart transplantation, an area made possible by new gene-editing tools.

If successful, scientists hope pig organs could help alleviate donor organ shortages.

“This is a revolutionary surgery that brings us one step closer to solving the organ shortage crisis. There are simply not enough donor human hearts available to meet the long list of potential recipients, ”said Dr Bartley Griffith, who surgically transplanted the pig’s heart into the patient, said in a statement. .

“We are proceeding with caution, but we are also optimistic that this world’s first surgery will provide an important new option for patients in the future,” added Griffith.

For David Bennett, 57, of Maryland, a heart transplant was his last option.

“It was either die or do this transplant. I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice,” Bennett said a day before his operation, according to a statement. by the university.

To move forward with the experimental surgery, the university obtained emergency clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration on New Year’s Eve as part of its compassionate use program.

“The FDA used our data and experimental pig data to authorize transplantation in a patient with end-stage heart disease who had no other treatment options,” said Dr. Muhammad Mohiuddin, who directs the University’s program on xenotransplantation – the transplantation of animal organs into humans.

About 110,000 Americans are currently waiting for an organ transplant, and more than 6,000 patients die each year before getting one, according to organdonor.gov.

Bennett’s genetically engineered pig heart was provided by Revivicor, a regenerative medicine company based in Blacksburg, Virginia. On the morning of the operation, the transplant team removed the pig’s heart and placed it in a special device to preserve its function until the operation.

Pigs have long been a tempting source of potential transplants because their organs are so similar to humans. A pig’s heart at the time of slaughter, for example, is about the size of an adult human heart.

Other organs from pigs being investigated for transplantation to humans include the kidneys, liver and lungs.

Previous pig-human transplantation efforts have failed due to genetic differences that have resulted in the rejection of organs or viruses that pose a risk of infection.

Scientists solved this problem by removing potentially dangerous genes.

In Bennett’s implanted heart, three genes previously linked to organ rejection were “knocked out” from the donor pig, and six human genes linked to immune acceptance were inserted into the pig genome.

The researchers also deleted a pig gene to prevent excessive growth of pig heart tissue.

The work was funded in part by a $ 15.7 million research grant to evaluate Revivicor’s genetically modified pig hearts in baboon studies.

In addition to the genetic changes in the pig’s heart, Bennett received an experimental anti-rejection drug manufactured by Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals based in Lexington, Mass.