OrganOx is developing a device for sustaining organs outside the body using blood at normal body temperatures. The device was invented by academic founders Prof Peter Friend, a leading transplant surgeon, and Dr Constantin Coussios, a biomedical engineer. In the first instance, it will be used to improve and prolong preservation and transportation of livers before transplantation.
“The major benefit of the OrganOx technology will be to increase the number of suitable livers available for organ transplantation,” said Dr Les Russell, the CEO of OrganOx.
Over 2000 livers are discarded annually because they are either damaged by oxygen deprivation or by intracellular fat. The OrganOx technology allows livers to be preserved for up to three days, more than three times longer than is possible by conventional cold storage and the company expects that it will also allow livers currently deemed unsuitable for transplantation, to recover to an acceptable standard for transplant.