Developing technology that will allow patients to regrow tissues in their own body, possibly revolutionizing the transplant market.
A spinout from University of Pittsburgh’s McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, LyGenesis, Inc.’s technology enables the use of a patient’s own lymph nodes to act as bioreactors to regrow functioning ectopic organs including liver, kidney, thymus, and pancreas.
The initial target for clinical development is liver regeneration, with a focus on helping patients with end-stage liver disease (ESLD) using a hepatocyte cell therapy product implanted into periduodenal lymph nodes.
LyGenesis’ technology allows a single donated liver to act as the seed for dozens of transplants using outpatient endoscopy to engraft the cells. These allogeneic hepatocytes engraft, vascularize, and perform all of the functions typical to liver tissue, enabling them to rescue patients from ESLD.
LyGenesis’ innovative work could revolutionize the transplant market, allowing patients to potentially avoid a liver transplant, or extending the lifespan of those ineligible for a liver transplant.
Classified as a cell therapy by the FDA, LyGenesis represents a near-term, real world example of regenerative medicine. Moreover, the ability of its organogenesis platform to regenerate functioning thymus, pancreas and renal tissues opens up a broad array of potential clinical indications. Second generation therapies using gene-modified cells could help to create off-the-shelf therapies, which could reduce or eliminate the need for immune suppression.
LyGenesis In the News
Scientists look to grow 'mini livers' for patients with organ damage
It sounds like science fiction: people with end-stage liver disease are injected with cells from a donor liver and, in response, their body produces multiple mini livers that keep them healthy.
Yet, science fiction really could be on the verge of becoming scientific fact, because US company LyGenesis is about to begin clinical trials in which participants are expected to develop such “ectopic” livers.