Forecasting: 2020 could bring major advances in gene therapies and pig-to-human organ transplants

xenotransplantation
Image: Laetitia Vancon

Here are two stories in biotech we’re keeping our eyes on. Although successes likely won’t come to fruition this year (sorry), these futuristic projects may be closer to reality than you think.

Pig-to-Human Organ Transplant Gains Steam

The idea of human-animal chimeras immediately triggers ethical aversion, but the dream of engineering replacement human organs in other animals is gaining momentum.

eGenesis reported the birth of Pig3.0, the world’s most CRISPR’d animal to further increase organ compatibility. These PERV-free genetic wonders had three pig genes that stimulate immunorejection removed, and nine brand new human genes to make them—in theory—more compatible with human physiology.

Related article:  Ugandan researcher: Western science education a 'game changer' for African agriculture

New Trends in Gene and Cell Medicine

With over 800 gene therapy trials in the running and several in mature stages, we’ll likely see a leap in new gene medicine approvals and growth in CAR-T spheres.

Promising results are coming soon. One idea is to use T cells from umbilical cord blood, which are less likely to generate an immune response. Another is to engineer T cells from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC)—mature cells returned back to a young, “stem-like” state.

Read full, original post: The Top Biotech Trends We’ll Be Watching in 2020

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