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Breakthrough Surgery: Genetically-Edited Pig Kidney Successfully Transplanted into Patient at Massachusetts General Hospital

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Breakthrough Surgery: Genetically Edited Pig Kidney Successfully Transplanted Into Patient At Massachusetts General Hospital

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a part of Mass General Brigham, has set a historic milestone by successfully performing the world’s first transplant of a genetically-edited pig kidney into a patient with end-stage kidney disease.

Leading the surgical team were Dr. James Kiberd, Dr. David Alexander Williams, and Dr. Kazuaki Kawai, renowned experts in kidney transplantation.

The kidney, genetically modified with 69 genomic edits, was provided by eGenesis and underwent CRISPR-Cas9 editing technology to enhance compatibility and eliminate infection risks.

This remarkable achievement marks a significant advancement in the field of xenotransplantation, a potential solution to the global organ shortage crisis.

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), over 100,000 individuals in the U.S. are on the waitlist for organ transplants, with kidneys being the most in-demand.

The recipient of the pig kidney, Mr. Richard ‘Rick’ Slayman, is recovering well post-surgery under the care of his dedicated medical team.

Mr. Slayman, a patient with Type 2 diabetes and hypertension, previously received a human deceased donor kidney transplant in 2018, which began to fail in 2023, resulting in his return to dialysis.

The surgery was conducted under a single FDA Expanded Access Protocol (EAP) with the additional infusion of novel immunosuppressant drugs by Eledon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

The successful procedure at MGH signifies a monumental step in addressing the organ shortage crisis and offering hope to patients in need of life-saving transplants.

Rachel Adams

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