OUR HISTORY - STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS
30 YEARS OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Despite the clear humanitarian need for a product like Xeno-Skin™ and the natural physiologic similarities between swine and humans, xenotransplantation between the two species had previously been largely unsuccessful due to a key scientific roadblock: hyperacute rejection of the porcine donor graft.
This heightened immunological reaction was an instinctive, intrinsic response of the pre-formed antibodies in the human recipient to the α-1,3 galactose (Gal) moiety found on the cell surface of all membranes and tissues in nearly all other species, including swine. However, over the past 30 years, Dr. David Sachs and his team at the Center for Transplantation Sciences at Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a specialized breed of genetically engineered miniature swine capable of producing humanized porcine skin. They purposely removed the offending Gal antigen, making xenotransplantation without hyperacute rejection a reality.
Dr. Sachs, a world-renowned physician and scientist, who famously discovered the MHC Class II molecule, an early breakthrough in Immunology, is the recipient of numerous awards for his lifetime contributions to the field of transplantation, including the prestigious Thomas Starzl and Medawar Prizes (2012 and 2014 respectively). He now serves as Scientific Advisor to XenoTherapeutics.
The skin of donors from Dr. Sachs’ specialized line of swine has already been tested successfully in several nonhuman primate models. Swine and humans share few pathogens in common, reducing disease transmission risks, especially compared to potential contamination associated with human derivative products like cadaver allograft. Thus, the next logical step for Xeno-Skin™ is a human clinical trial aiming to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of this xenotransplantation product to the Food and Drug Administration.
XenoTherapeutics is working to provide safe, scalable and temporary transplantation solutions based on three decades of research by the world’s top experts in xenotransplantation, surgery and infectious disease.
Our proprietary platform leverages highly characterized and humanized skin from animals able to provide temporary tissues and bio-transplants that are less susceptible to transplant rejection.
XenoTherapeutics’ mission is rooted in the science of xenotransplantation, the discipline of transplanting the tissues or organs of one species into a different species, a concept proposed more than a century ago. Xeno-derived medical products, including porcine heart valves and cellular scaffolds, have been successfully used recently in limited applications, however, there does not yet exist an FDA-approved product that utilizes the medical potential of live-cell xenotransplantation technology to treat human patients.
Xenotransplantation products have the potential to lower healthcare costs while providing an abundance of life-saving treatments.