OrganOx, a company focused on organ preservation, has recently signed a five-year manufacturing contract with ITL Group for their portable, medical device metra®, a Normothermic Perfusion System.
Managing Director of ITL, Tom Cole, says, “We are delighted to be working in partnership with OrganOx on this ground-breaking project. This agreement is yet another important milestone positioning metra as one of the most promising transplantation candidates in late-stage development. This collaboration marks the beginning of what I’m sure will be a very exciting journey for both ITL and OrganOx.”
The device works by supplying a donated liver with oxygenated blood, anti-clotting drugs, and assorted nutrients, while keeping the organ at a stable temperature.
Overall, the hope is that metra® can reduce the number of livers that are disposed of due to damage from cold storage or lack of oxygen.
In total, the metra® system can preserve and maintain a donated liver for up to 24 hours between receiving the liver and transplanting it. By extending the preservation time, metra® can increase both the quality and number of available liver transplants.
Professor Kevin Harris, at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, recently commented in a BBC article that normothermic perfusion offers a different way of preserving the liver.
“By using this procedure, more patients on the organ transplant waiting list could be offered a chance of a transplant and thereby potentially extending their lives,” Prof. Harris says.
Meanwhile, Darius Mirza, professor of transplant surgery at University Hospitals Birmingham says the machine is an innovative space they are beyond excited to explore.
“In the 30 years I’ve been involved with transplantation, there have been three or four events which have been game changers and I’m absolutely certain we are looking at a game changer that will change the way we practice organ storage and transplantation,” Mirza says.