XENiOS, a privately held medical device company specializing in minimally invasive lung-and-heart assistance, recently announced it has invested $2.6 million in XOR-Labs Toronto, a spin-off of Toronto General Hospital at University Health Network (UHN) that is working to make more donor lungs available to patients needing transplants because of injuries caused by diseases like cystic fibrosis.
XOR Labs Toronto focuses on assessing and repairing unusable donor lungs. Its commercial system — based on Toronto Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion (Toronto EVLP) and developed by XENiOS with UHN — has been confirmed to increase the number of available lungs for transplant from existing donor pools.
“The technology behind XOR’s system has a long track record of clinical success. Over the past six years it has been used more than 200 times at UHN, approved by Health Canada, and clinical results using the technology have been extensively published, including in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine,” Shaf Keshavjee, MD, one the founders of XOR and a lung researcher and transplant surgeon at UHN, said in a press release.
“XOR’s system will be a game-changer, since it will enable clinicians all around the world to use advanced techniques developed and perfected in Toronto, including gene and stem cell therapy, to make more lungs available for transplant and to make the transplanted lungs even better than the ones available today,” Dr. Keshavjee added. “All of this will improve patient care and reduce transplant waiting lists.”
Worldwide, an estimated 700,000 patients are in critical need of a lung transplant due to lung diseases that include cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and pulmonary fibrosis. However, each year less than 6,000 procedures are done because of a lack of available quality lungs, so less than 1 percent of these patients receive a lung transplant. Of those on transplant waiting lists, 20 percent are likely to die while waiting for an appropriate lung donor.
“The XOR team has most certainly transformed the lung-transplant world. By developing a platform to allow personalized medicine for the organs themselves, they will also affect the treatment of numerous diseases of lungs and other organs. Given XENiOS’s focus on cutting-edge lung-and-heart-assist therapies and immediate commercial reach, partnering with XOR is a very positive addition to our product family,” said Georg Matheis, MD, managing director and founder of XENiOS.
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