Research collaboration will conduct in vivo testing of lead kidney and islet
xenotransplant programs and validate platform in other organs
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 2, 2020 — eGenesis, a biotechnology company using breakthrough gene editing technologies for the development of safe and effective human-compatible organs, tissues, and cells to address the global organ shortage, today announced the expansion of its research collaboration with the Center for Transplantation Sciences at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The ongoing preclinical research includes testing of transgenic solid organs as well as cell therapies in non-human primate (NHP) recipients to enable advancement of the company’s xenotransplant pipeline toward the clinic. This builds on the successful partnership that was initiated between eGenesis and MGH in December of 2017.
“Although organ transplantation saves lives of patients with end stage organ failure and reduces overall costs to our healthcare system, there is a shortage of transplantable organs for the majority of patients in need,” said James F. Markmann, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of the Division of Transplant Surgery and Director of Clinical Operations at the Transplant Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a member of both the eGenesis Scientific and Clinical Advisory Boards. “With advancements in gene editing, there has been tremendous progress in addressing the virological and immunological hurdles in xenotransplantation. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with eGenesis to advance the development of new treatment options for patients in need of an organ transplant.”
“Our work with the MGH xenotransplantation research team has generated very encouraging data,” added William Westlin, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Research & Development of eGenesis. “With our expanded collaboration, we will be able to conduct the essential research that will enable us to further validate our xeno-kidney in a primate species closely related to humans as well as broaden our exploration of applications in islet cell, liver, heart, and lung transplant.”
Paul Sekhri, President and Chief Executive Officer of eGenesis said, “Our partnership with MGH has generated invaluable insights for developing our therapeutic candidates. We are pleased to expand our long standing collaboration, and we look forward to making significant progress this year.”
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 a lifesaving 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, incompatibilities related to virology and immunology have prevented porcine organ xenotransplantation from entering clinical development.
eGenesis’ goal is to advance the field of transplantation and make available safe and reliable xeno organs, tissues, and cells to patients in need. eGenesis uses gene editing technology such as CRISPR to directly address the key virology and immunology hurdles that have impeded xenotransplantation to date. eGenesis is advancing an initial product toward the clinic for kidney transplant, with the longer-term potential of addressing a broader organ recipient population and expanding the applicability of xenotransplantation into other areas such as cell therapy. Learn more at egenesisbio.com.
About the Massachusetts General Hospital
Massachusetts General Hospital, founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH Research Institute conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the nation, with an annual research budget of more than $1 billion and comprises more than 8,500 researchers working across more than 30 institutes, centers and departments. In August 2019 the MGH was once again named #2 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in its list of “America’s Best Hospitals.”
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