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The first genetically modified pig kidney transplant was performed in the United States, on a 62-year-old man

MADRID, 21 Mar.

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The first genetically modified pig kidney transplant was performed in the United States, on a 62-year-old man

MADRID, 21 Mar. (EUROPA PRESS) -

Massachusetts General Hospital (United States) has performed the world's first successful transplant of a genetically modified pig kidney to a 62-year-old man with End-stage Kidney Disease.

Surgeons at Mass General Transplant Center performed the four-hour surgery on Saturday, March 16. The procedure marks an important milestone in the quest to provide more readily available organs to patients.

"Mass General Brigham researchers and physicians are constantly pushing the boundaries of science to transform medicine and solve important health problems our patients face in their daily lives," said Mass General Brigham President and CEO Anne Klibanski. . "Nearly seven decades after the first successful kidney transplant, our doctors have once again demonstrated our commitment to providing innovative treatments and helping to alleviate the burden of disease for our patients and others around the world," she adds.

Likewise, the medical director of kidney transplantation, Dr. Tatsuo Kawai, noted that "the success of this transplant is the culmination of the efforts of thousands of scientists and doctors over several decades." "We are privileged to have played an important role in this milestone. Our hope is that this method of transplantation will offer a lifeline to millions of patients around the world suffering from kidney failure," says Kawai.

The pig kidney was provided by eGenesis of Cambridge, Massachusetts, from a pig donor that was gene-edited using CRISPR-Cas9 technology to remove harmful porcine genes and add certain human genes to improve its compatibility with humans.

Additionally, the scientists inactivated endogenous porcine retroviruses in the donor pig to eliminate any risk of infection in humans.

"We are grateful for the patient's brave contribution and for the advancement of transplant science," says director of the Legorreta Center for Clinical Transplant Tolerance, Mike Curtis. "We congratulate our collaborators at MGH on this historic milestone. We also recognize the work and dedication of the eGenesis team that made this achievement possible. This represents a new frontier in medicine and demonstrates the potential of genomic engineering to change the lives of millions of patients around the world who suffer from kidney failure," he adds.

This critical transplant could not be possible without the collaboration and effort of multiple teams and specialists at MGH, including physicians, surgeons, scientists, anesthesiologists and nurses. "They participated in the coordination of the patient's care in preparation for the transplant, accompanying him during the surgery and taking care of him after the operation," says the Acting Head of Transplant Surgery and Director of Kidney Transplants, Nahel Elías.

This successful procedure in a living recipient is a historic milestone in the emerging field of xenotransplantation (the transplantation of organs or tissues from one species to another) as a possible solution to the worldwide organ shortage.

The patient, Richard 'Rick' Slayman of Weymouth, Massachusetts, is recovering well at MGH and is expected to be discharged soon.

"The real hero today is the patient, Mr. Slayman, as the success of this pioneering surgery, once considered unimaginable, would not have been possible without his courage and willingness to embark on a journey into uncharted medical territory. While the world medical community celebrates this monumental achievement, Mr. Slayman becomes a beacon of hope for countless people suffering from end-stage renal disease and opens a new frontier in organ transplantation," says the director of the MGH Transplant Center, Joren C. Madsen.