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Impacting lives at the research park…. the pig, provided by Revivicor, which raises pigs for transplant, was genetically modified in 10 different spots before birth. “We’ve marched down this road over the last decade, going from a one-gene pig to a two- to a five- to an eight to a 10, and we rationalized each of those and made modifications along the way,” Ayares said.

Revivicor’s parent company, United Therapeutics, aims to get into pig-to-human lung transplants, whose pigs will probably need “at least that many” gene edits, Ayares said.

Revivicor’s Vision: To provide organs from gene-edited pigs to overcome the critical shortage of human organs for transplant.


Xenotransplantation is the process of transplanting viable organs or tissues between two different species. Organs from ordinary pigs are rejected almost immediately when transplanted into other species, including humans. To overcome rejection and make organs suitable for transplant into human patients, Revivicor has edited 10 genes in the pig genome. Three of these genes were silenced to prevent rejection, one was silenced to limit organ growth after transplant, and six human genes were inserted to prevent rejection, inflammation, and blood clot formation in the transplanted organ.

Read full story by Karen Weintraub USA TODAY