eGenesis Expands Research Collaboration with Leading Academic Medical Center
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- eGenesis, a gene-editing and genome-engineering company developing human-compatible organs, tissues, and cells, today announced the expansion of a research collaboration with Duke University School of Medicine. The expanded collaboration now includes preclinical research of gene-edited kidneys implanted in non-human primate (NHP) recipients, which builds on the original research collaboration for the implantation of the Company’s gene-edited pancreatic islet cells in NHPs that began in 2020. This collaboration is in addition to eGenesis’ successful partnership evaluating gene edited kidneys and other organs in NHPs with Massachusetts General Hospital, which was initiated in 2017.
Dr. Stuart Knechtle, M.D., William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Surgery in the School of Medicine, and Executive Director of the Duke Transplant Center, will lead the research.
“Organ transplantation extends the lifespan and improves the quality of life for patients suffering from organ failure,” said Dr. Knechtle. “Since the advent of successful transplants, there has been a shortage of transplantable organs, resulting in unnecessary patient suffering and death. Xenotransplantation could potentially ease the organ shortage crisis by providing immediate access to transplantable organs for patients in need.”
Michael Curtis, Ph.D., President of Research & Development of eGenesis added, “The Duke Medical team under Dr. Knechtle’s leadership is a leading transplant program with strong research capabilities in preventing organ rejection. This collaboration will accelerate research and validation of our gene edited kidneys, leading to their evaluation in clinical trials. We look forward to working with our colleagues at Duke and to advancing the field of transplantation.”
About Transplantation and Xenotransplantation
The demand for lifesaving organs far outnumbers available supply. In the U.S. today, 20 people die every day due to lack of available organs for transplant and every 10 minutes an additional name is added to the national transplant waitlist. There are more than 110,000 people in need of an organ transplant in the U.S. alone.
The concept of xenotransplantation, or the transplantation of organs, tissue and cells from one species to another, has been explored for several decades, with the pig considered the most suitable donor for humans. However, until the development of modern gene editing tools, hurdles related to virology and immunology have prevented porcine organ xenotransplantation from advancing beyond early preclinical research.
eGenesis’s goal is to transform the field of transplantation by offering safe and effective organs, tissues, and cells to patients in need. The company harnesses gene editing technology including CRISPR, to address the key issues that have impeded xenotransplantation to date. eGenesis’s development pipeline includes lead programs for kidney and islet cell transplant as well as earlier-stage programs focused on other solid organs. Learn more at egenesisbio.com.
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