The Mayo Clinic and United Therapeutics announced a collaboration to build and operate a lung restoration center on the Mayo campus in Jacksonville, according to a press release.
“This collaboration is exciting because it allows Mayo Clinic to bring the latest advances in life-saving technology to transplant patients,” Gianrico Farrugia, MD, CEO of Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida, said in the release. “Ultimately, this relationship will help Mayo Clinic expand its reach to patients who could benefit from this innovation. Increasing the number of lungs available for transplantation provides more options for patients suffering from pulmonary disease,” he said.
The Mayo Clinic, under the agreement, will provide physician oversight as well as obtain and deliver lungs to the center for restoration in coordination with organ procurement organizations.
The two also plan to work together on regenerative medicine research — an area of medicine focused on healing damaged tissues and organs.
There is also a possibility the two may work together to develop additional centers at Mayo Clinic’s campuses in Arizona and Minnesota.
Construction of the center is expected to be finished in late 2017.
“We are honored to work with Mayo Clinic to expand the supply of transplantable lungs,” Martine Rothblatt, PhD, co-CEO of United Therapeutics, said in the release. “Only about 1% of people who sign organ donor cards die in a way that renders their organs transplantable, and most of these precious few lungs are currently discarded due to their rapid deterioration upon death.”
The goal of the collaboration is to increase the volume of lungs for transplantation by preserving and restoring selected marginal donor lungs, making them viable for transplantation.
“We are confident that our ex-vivo lung perfusion technology will enable many of the otherwise discarded lungs to instead be used as gifts of life to patients on the lung transplant waiting list.”