At NZeno, we believe xenotransplantation is ready to enter the clinic because of the major advances made possible by new gene editing techniques.
The vast majority of xenotransplantation literature and news stories describe results with pigs created using genetic engineering technology that is almost 20 years old. For instance, the recent research featured on Pig Hearts Survive more than 2 years in a Baboon used pig engineered with the same technology used in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Genome editing has advanced far more in just the last three years than in all of time previously.
Preclinical research on pigs created using CRISPR, if published at all, is released very quietly and normally receives no coverage. Many researchers refuse to publish for fear of being scooped. Those that do publish release cryptic results that are useful only to their patent strategy. NZeno’s founders are seminal figures in the transition to use new techniques to solve the challenges of xenotransplantation.
Some people may find this yucky but if xenotransplantation can save human lives, or at least enhance them, then I’m in favour. The ethics need to be managed well, but this should not be a barrier to research here.