Tor 29 feb / År 42 / Nr 4 2023

Current development in transplantation technology can save countless lives

The epigraph “Nobody should die waiting for a new organ” has always been a clear vision statement for XVIVO. The company has spent decades developing and perfecting unique and patented technologies and perfusion solutions for safe and efficient preservation, assessment and transportation of organs prior to a transplantation.  

Christoffer Rosenblad, CEO XVIVO.

XVIVO was founded and is still headquartered in Gothenburg. The business started up focusing extensively on lung transplants, but has expanded over the years to cover heart, kidney and liver transplants as well. This development is based on the company’s strong drive to increase the utilization rate of available organs and at the end of the day give patients a new hope, according to XVIVO’s CEO Christoffer Rosenblad. He explains:  

“Our technologies and perfusion solutions are developed in-house and also in collaboration with Igelösa Life Science in Lund. With the help of these innovations, more organs can be preserved and assessed outside the body, thus saving more lives. The number of transplanted lungs is far less than the availability of donated organs, and the same goes for hearts. Our technologies are game-changers in our field, forever changing the way transplants are planned and conducted”.

Current development in heart transplantation

XVIVO is an innovation and research-driven developer of new technologies that are patented and thus completely unique.

The latest development was initiated in 2016 as XVIVO acquired a development project from Igelösa Life Science for heart preservation.  Since then, the technology has been further developed and customized to fit the high demands of today's healthcare systems. The final results from a clinical trial in Australia/New Zealand will be published very soon. There is an ongoing multi-centre clinical trial in Europe, and a clinical trial will soon start in the US.

“This technology is what we consider the jewel in the crown, as it opens up a whole new world of possibilities in transplanting more hearts. Hearts can now be transported and preserved for longer, compared to today’s standard of care. The number of available donated hearts is significantly higher than the number actually being transplanted. The aim is to increase the timeframe during which the heart can be preserved in good condition outside the body. This opens up the possibility for longer transportation times, allowing long-distance donors to be considered. It also provides transplant teams with more time to match donors and recipients. We believe we can commercialize the technology in Europe and Australia/New Zealand during the first half of next year.”, Christoffer Rosenblad explains further.

The need worldwide

There is 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 available lungs are being transplanted.

The rate is around 30 per cent for hearts, and much better for other organs such as livers and kidneys. Needless to say, there is a great potential in developing new technologies within these fields.

There are currently no other solutions available that can transport, assess and preserve organs outside of the body in the same way that the patented technologies developed by XVIVO can. Decades of work has granted the company with a market significance, where, for example, over 90 per cent of all transplant centres in the world are using XVIVO’s solution PERDADEX® Plus for cold static preservation of donor lungs.

Increasing survival rates is key

Christoffer Rosenblad underlines that saving lives is and has always been the guiding star for the company.

“At XVIVO, we believe in extending the life of organs, and our vision is that nobody should die waiting for a new organ. We support transplant teams in every way we can, with innovative technologies, training, organ procurement and perfusion services, all aimed at ensuring that patients gain access to available organs in time.”.

According to Rosenblad, the most interesting developments right now are associated with heart transplants:

“We use the same principle for heart transplantation that we have developed for lung transplantation. It is a complete system with a combination of oxygen, preservation solution and machine that keeps the heart in a good condition outside the body. Our pre-clinical studies showed very good results, and now as we have moved into a clinical trial stage we see the same great results. I am very confident of a bright future for XVIVO”, he says.