United Therapeutics, scientists work to develop genetically altered pig lungs

05/6/2014 | Reuters

Synthetic Genomics has agreed to a multiyear deal with United Therapeutics to lead the research and development of genetically altered pig lungs, and other organs as well in the future. "The goal is to go in and edit, and where necessary, rewrite using our synthetic genomic tools, the pig genes that seem to be associated with immune responses," said J. Craig Venter, one of the pioneers in human genome mapping. Once Synthetic Genomics has successfully altered the pig genome to prevent rejection response in transplants, United Therapeutics plans to transplant altered cells into pig eggs and raise pigs that have genetically humanized organs.

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