Researchers at King’s College London have developed a new drug ‘coating’ for organs that shields them from the normal rejection effects and substantially increases the time that they remain healthy in the recipients body. Additionally, it has the side-effect of dramatically increasing the time that an organ can be kept ‘on ice’ and still be viable from 24 hours to several days. Both could have a significant impact on transplant services.
Trials are expected to begin next year to investigate how much drug organs need to be treated with to protect them. If successful, doctors will need to do a final, much larger trial to study how much longer treated donor organs survive in patients. Treatment could be available in hospitals within five years if all goes well.
Additional info at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11322197