May 28, 2022
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US man with transplanted genetically modified pig heart dies

A 57-YEAR-OLD man with terminal heart illness who made historical past as the primary particular person to obtain a genetically modified pig’s heart died on Tuesday on the College of Maryland Medical Heart (UMMC), the hospital stated.

David Bennett obtained the transplant on Jan. 7.

His situation started deteriorating a number of days in the past, the hospital stated in a press release on Wednesday, and he was given “compassionate palliative care” after it turned clear that he wouldn’t recuperate.

Mr. Bennett “wasn’t able to overcome what turned out to be the devastating debilitation” brought on by the heart failure he skilled earlier than the transplant, Dr. Bartley Griffith, director of the UMCC cardiac transplant program, stated in a videotaped assertion.

The transplanted heart functioned “beautifully,” Dr. Griffith stated.

Mr. Bennett was in a position to talk with his household throughout his last hours, the hospital stated.

Bennett first got here to UMMC as a affected person in October and was positioned on a heart-lung bypass machine, however was deemed ineligible for a traditional heart transplant.

After Mr. Bennett obtained a pig heart that had been modified to stop rejection with using new gene modifying instruments, his son known as the process “a miracle.”

For Mr. Bennett, the process was his final possibility.

“Before consenting to receive the transplant, Mr. Bennett was fully informed of the procedure’s risks, and that the procedure was experimental with unknown risks and benefits,” the hospital stated.

Researchers have lengthy thought of pigs to be a possible supply of organs for transplants as a result of they’re anatomically just like people in some ways. Prior efforts at pig-to-human transplants had failed due to genetic variations that prompted organ rejection or viruses that posed an an infection danger.

“The demonstration that it was possible — that we were able to take a genetically engineered organ and watch it function flawlessly for nine weeks, is pretty positive in terms of the potential for this therapy,” Dr. Griffith stated. — Reuters

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