Progress Towards Clinically Successful Xenotransplantation

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As a result of the large, unmet need for transplant tissue, many biotechnology companies have sprung up to address the challenge of finding alternative sources of tissue, and the field of xenotransplantation has expanded rapidly over the past five or so years.

Some approaches that may contribute to the future viability of xenotransplantation as a clinical practice include the inhibition of complement binding, with various approaches being taken by T Cell Sciences, Alexion Pharmaceuticals and Nextran, and the elimination of offending antigens which contribute to xenograft rejection, an approach also being explored by Alexion and Nextran, as well as BioTransplant, Inc.

This article reviews some of the latest advances in the field of xenotransplantation, as well as some of the most pertinent safety issues that have recently arisen in Europe and the US.

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