Using standard heart transplant practices along with additional porcine virus monitoring protocols, a team of surgeons at NYU Langone Health transplanted genetically modified pig hearts into two recently deceased humans. The procedures set a new protocol for xenotransplantation that would provide an alternative supply of organs for people who need them.
Nader Moazami, MD, surgical director of heart transplantation at the NYU Langone Transplant Institute and chief of the Division of Heart and Lung Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, tells The Wall Street Journal that performing the transplants without investigational equipment or medicines along with increased screening for porcine cytomegalovirus were important to developing the protocol for xenotransplantation.
The surgeries were approved by a specially designated research oversight board at NYU Langone and were performed after consulting the New York State Department of Health to address both ethical and safety concerns. “If this is going to be applicable to a large patient population out in the world, that is the only way the public will trust this process,” Dr. Moazami says.
Read more from The Wall Street Journal.