The technique, known as normothermic machine perfusion, maintains donated livers in a fully functioning state for up to 24 hours prior to transplantation. Compared with standard cold storage, this results in 50% fewer discarded livers and 20% more transplanted livers.
OrganOx technology gives surgeons time and data to decide whether a candidate liver is suitable for transplantation, as the higher storage temperature and increased functionality makes it easier to assess. There’s also the flexibility: in a clinical trial, 84% of transplants took place during the day versus 65% with static cold storage.
These results are phenomenal for the hundreds of people waiting for a liver transplant in the UK alone. To date, OrganOx’s metra product has supported more than 2,000 liver transplants worldwide, with last year’s FDA regulatory approval enabling the technology to be applied to a huge unmet need in the United States.
“Compared with standard cold storage, this results in 50% fewer discarded livers and 20% more transplanted livers.”
The metra device is fully automated, transportable, and easy to set up and operate. It keeps donor livers perfused – supplied with oxygenated blood, medications and nutrients – at normal body temperature and in near-physiological condition. The 24-hour window of opportunity addresses the challenge of performing transplants in patients with substantial journey times.
Almost 30 years since Professors Coussios and Friend began working together, OrganOx has changed the game for organ transplantation worldwide.