Achievements in Transplantation
Thanks to the transplantation pioneers, advances in organ transplantation have revolutionized the quality of life and survival rate across terminal conditions. Organ transplantation nowadays saves and prolongs life of thousand of patients and the demand for organ transplantation has rapidly increased all over the world during the past decade. However, unavailability of adequate organs for transplantation to meet the existing demand has resulted in major organ shortage crises. As a result there has been a major rise in the number of patients on transplant waiting lists as well as in the number of patients dying while on the waiting list.
Acknowledging educational efforts for organ donation, continued improvement in technologies is key to meet the increasing demand for quality organs. For more than two decades now, ischemia- reperfusion injuries have been identified as a prominent source of degradation for the organ, influencing short term (delayed graft function) and long-term graft outcome (graft rejection and chronic graft dysfunction). After the potent modulation of organ rejection by immunosuppressive drugs, ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injuries represent the next stumbling block towards enlarged quality organ procurement.
Ischemia-reperfusion: the next stumbling block in Transplantation
Ischemia is defined as the cessation of blood flow to the organ depriving it in oxygen supply. This results in a dramatic depression in the cell capacity to produce energy, which alters then maintenance of the normal functions of the cell and the whole organ starts to degrade. The required restoration of blood flow named reperfusion, paradoxically, induces a transient but severe oxidative stress activating several mechanisms, among which inflammation, complement activation or cell death programs, amplifying the organ injuries.
From cold static storage based on well-thought preservation solutions to high tech temperature-controlled perfusion equipment, current medical devices incrementally improved organ preservation upon the ischemic period of the transplant procedure. Pharmacological control of ischemia reperfusion injuries although academically studied has yet to be brought to the patient.
Balmes Transplantation’s approach
Balmes Transplantation seeks to bring the first pharmacological IR modulators for transplantation to the market and contribute to further widened availability of quality organs for waiting patients.