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Developing Replacement Organs

LyGenesis, Inc. is developing organ regeneration technology that focuses on using the patient’s own lymph nodes to grow functioning ectopic organs. Over a decade ago, Dr. Eric Lagasse launched a series of experiments that would lead to the idea that lymph nodes might be used to grow additional organs [1-2]. This became the core idea behind LyGenesis, the ability to grow replacement organs using a patients lymph nodes.

In 2018, Juvenescence, Ltd. invested $3 million into this company as part of a Series A funding round which allowed it to start the journey to human clinical trials.

The company has completed large animal studies for liver regeneration and intends to begin Phase 2 human trials in 2021. It intends to use its technology as a bridge to liver transplants and, in some cases, to remove the need for liver transplants altogether.

Large animal study results:

Development of Ectopic Livers by Hepatocyte Transplantation Into Swine Lymph Nodes

Ex Vivo Cell Therapy by Ectopic Hepatocyte Transplantation Treats the Porcine Tyrosinemia Model of Acute Liver Failure

LyGenesis has also conducted proof-of-concept experiments for thymic, kidney, and pancreatic tissue.

Of particular interest is the thymus, which is responsible for training T cells. Its gradual involution leads to immunosenescence, which causes senescent cell proliferation and greatly increases the risk of cancer; creating a new thymus within the body’s own lymph nodes may effectively halt multiple processes of aging and reduce the risk of age-related diseases such as cancer along with infectious diseases.

LyGenesis received a $11 million boost in December 2020 and FDA approval for a Phase 2A trial of its cell therapy for patients with end-stage liver disease.

References

[1] Komori, J., Boone, L., DeWard, A., Hoppo, T., & Lagasse, E. (2012). The mouse lymph node as an ectopic transplantation site for multiple tissues. Nature biotechnology, 30(10), 976.

[2] Francipane, M. G., & Lagasse, E. (2014). Maturation of embryonic tissues in a lymph node: a new approach for bioengineering complex organs. Organogenesis, 10(3), 323-331.

Website: LyGenesis

Article: LyGenesis Closes $3 Million Series A Financing to Advance Its Organ Regeneration Technology to the Clinic

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