Tis 7 dec / År 39 / Nr 4 2021

Life Science 2021

The task of developing the healthcare systems, technology and treatments of the future requires a much sharper focus on facilitating collaboration across borders. Not only geographical – but across disciplines as well. Gothenburg has a strong and growing Life Science cluster which deserves to be highlighted from a national point of view.

Safer organ transplants using technology from

Nobody should die waiting for a new organ. XVIVO, founded and headquartered in Gothenburg, develops systems and solutions for transporting, preserving and assessing organs outside of the body. Core business is built on lung transplants, but is rapidly extending to cover transplants of other organs as well.

Dag Andersson, CEO of XVIVO.

There is most certainly a worldwide challenge in not enough organs being transplanted, despite an increased presence of donors. Statistics are similar all over the world, and they show that only around 20 per cent of all donated lungs are being transplanted. The rate is somewhat higher for donated hearts, and much better for other organs such as livers and kidneys.

“Lungs and hearts are fragile organs that are very hard to maintain for long periods of time outside of the body. This is the main reason for the low transplant rate”, explains Dag Andersson, CEO of XVIVO.

“Our most important task at XVIVO is to increase the success rate in all areas of organ transplantation. With the help of our in-house developed systems and solutions more organs can be preserved and assessed outside the body, and thus more lives can be saved. This has always been our main mission”.

XVIVO’s expertise

XVIVO’s expertise is built on over two decades of research and development, mostly originating from Sweden. There are currently no other solutions available that can transport, assess and maintain organs outside of the body in the same way that the patented XVIVO’s solutions can.

“Decades of work has granted us with a market significance where over 95 per cent of all transplanted lungs are transported with XVIVO’s solution PERFADEX® Plus. Our goal is to achieve similar results in other types of organ transplantations as well”, says Dag Andersson.

“Our mission is to increase the survival rates of patients awaiting transplantation by supporting transplant teams in every way we can. We join forces with the transplant teams to give more patients a better life. We provide our customers with solutions and technology that can improve the transplant process outcome and even expand the pool of transplantable organs”.

By adding an additional step named ex-vivo lung perfusion (EVLP), a method innovated by Professor Stig Steen – a cardiothoracic surgeon from Skåne University Hospital and further developed by XVIVO, to the already existing standard of care, around 50 per cent of all donated lungs can be transplanted.

Key technology and ongoing projects

Dag Andersson explains further that the key technology is the fluid itself, which is compatible with the body and organs. It replaces the function of the blood without damaging organs while being outside of the body.

Researchers at XVIVO are always working to perfect the technology and increase its success rate. In parallel, they are currently developing new technologies and methods to reduce and minimise side effects in bypass operations, staying true to the mission of saving more lives and improving quality of life for transplant patients.

“We have a lot of ongoing projects. As an example, we are ready to launch a new system and solution for transporting and maintaining kidneys. At the same time, we are conducting our largest studies so far, involving three continents. We are aiming to prove that our solution can up the success rate in transplanted hearts, just like we have for lungs, and this is one of our most important projects right now”.

Dag Andersson concludes with an explanation to how the system is built up:

“We use the same principle for heart transplantation that we have developed for lung transplantation. It is thus a complete system with a combination of oxygen, fluid and machine that keeps the heart alive outside the body. Pre-clinical studies performed with the method shows very interesting results. Therefore we are very keen on including patients in our clinical studies”.