First Clinical-Grade Transplant of Gene-Edited Pig Kidneys into Brain-Dead Human Announced; Achievement Termed “Game-Changing Moment in the History of Medicine”

On January 20, 2022, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine announced the first peer-reviewed research outlining the successful transplant of genetically modified, clinical-grade pig kidneys into a brain-dead human individual, replacing the recipient’s native kidneys. These positive results demonstrate how xenotransplantation could address the worldwide organ shortage crisis. In the study published on January 20, 2022 in the American Journal of Transplantation, UAB researchers tested the first human preclinical model for transplanting genetically modified pig kidneys into humans. The study recipient had two genetically modified pig kidneys transplanted in his abdomen after his native kidneys were removed. The organs were procured from a genetically modified pig at a pathogen-free facility. The open-access article is titled “First Clinical-Grade Porcine Kidney Xenotransplant Using a Human Decedent Model.”

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