Pig Kidneys Provide Life-Sustaining Organ Function in Humans

For the first time, genetically modified pig kidneys have provided life-sustaining kidney function during the course of a planned 7-day clinical study — the first step in addressing the critical crisis worldwide of kidney donor organ shortage. The University of Alabama’s per-clinical human study at Birmingham also advances the science and promise of xenotransplantation as a therapy to potentially cure end-stage kidney disease — just as a human-to-human transplants can. The kidneys functioned remarkably over the course of the study and researchers were able to gather additional safety and scientific information critical to their efforts to seek FDA clearance of a Phase I clinical trial in living humans. Pig kidney transplants could be the desperately needed solution to address an organ shortage crisis responsible for tens of thousands of preventable deaths each year.