World’s first pig kidney transplant patient gets discharged 2 weeks after ground-breaking surgery – News Healthcare

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The first man who had received a genetically modified kidney transplant from a pig has been discharged from the hospital. According to a report by BBC, the 62-year-old man was sent home two weeks after the successful ground-breaking surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

Before this, organ transplant procedures from genetically modified pigs have failed and the success in this case so far has been hailed by scientists as a historic milestone in the field of transplantation.

On Wednesday, the hospital issued a statement announcing the world’s first successful transplant of a genetically-edited pig (porcine) kidney into the man living with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD).

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The team of doctors performed the four-hour-long procedure on 16 March. According to the BBC report, Slayman’s kidney is now functioning well and he is no longer on dialysis.

He said, in a statement, that being able to leave the hospital and go home was “one of the happiest moments” of his life.

In 2018, Slayman had a human kidney transplant from a deceased donor, however it began to fail last year, and doctors raised the idea of a pig kidney transplant, BBC reported.

The pig kidney that he received was modified by Cambridge-based pharmaceutical company eGenesis to remove “harmful pig genes and add certain human genes to improve its compatibility with humans,” the hospital stated.

It is noteworthy that the hospital is also behind the world’s first successful human organ transplant – a kidney – in 1954. Moreover, it is involved in continuous research that it had conducted with eGenesis on xenotransplantation (interspecies organ transplants) over the past five years. The findings of this research was published in the Nature journal last year.

According to the hospital, the procedure was performed under a single FDA Expanded Access Protocol (EAP). Known as compassionate use, this approval is granted to a single patient or group of patients with serious, life-threatening illnesses or conditions to gain access to experimental treatments or trials when no comparable treatment options or therapies exist.

Slayman also received an infusion of novel immunosuppressant drugs, tegoprubart, provided by Eledon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and ravulizumab, provided by Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., it stated.

According to data by US non-profit United Network for Organ Sharing, more than 100,000 Americans need a lifesaving organ transplant. Meanwhile, the number of donors – deceased and living – in 2023 was just under 23,500, BBC reported.

Earlier, two patients who had received pig heart transplants were unsuccessful as the recipients had died a few weeks later.


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