Humanized pig organs to revolutionize transplantation | KurzweilAI

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Genome pioneer J. Craig Venter’s Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI) is teaming up with United Therapeutics Corporation subsidiary Lung Biotechnology Inc. to use synthetic genomic advances to develop humanized pig lungs.

The collaboration will focus on creating organs that are safe and effective for use in human patients in need of transplantation, with an initial focus on lung diseases — addressing specifically the urgent need for transplant organs for people with end-stage lung disease.

SGI  plans to use its unique DNA design, DNA synthesis, genome editing, and genome-modification tools to develop engineered primary pig cells with modified genomes. This will involve modifying a substantial number of genes at an unprecedented scale and efficiency, the company says.

400,000 people die annually from lung disease

United Therapeutics will leverage its xenotransplantation (between-species) expertise to implant these engineered cells, generating pig embryos that are born with humanized lungs.

“We believe that our proprietary synthetic genomic tools and technologies, coupled with United Therapeutics’ knowledge and advances in regenerative medicine technologies and treatment of lung diseases, should enable us to develop humanized pig organs for safe and effective transplant into humans,” said said J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, SGI. “We believe this is one of the most exciting and important programs ever undertaken in modern medical science.”

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