Organ donation is an intensive process to go through. It takes a ton of time to find a match, and even after the donation has taken place, recipients run a risk of developing graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), a complication in which the transplanted cells attack the recipient’s body.
This process is worth it, however, because most individuals that endure an organ transplant are using it as a last resort to treatment. That being said, there is still a huge need for improvements in organ transplantation, to quicken the process, to allow more people to get these life-saving transplants, and to reduce the instances of GvHD cases.
Hansa Medical is behind a movement to dramatically lower waiting time for organ transplants. This pharmaceutical company is developing an orphan drug of immunoglobulin G-degrading enzyme of Streptococcus pyogenes to prevent GvHD from occurring after solid organ transplantation, making this life-saving surgery a possibility for even the most highly sensitized of patients.
Hansa is proving that it is on to something, too. A recently published study showed that their drug is exceptionally efficient for patients, who are pre-sensitized to human leukocyte antigen, go through a successful organ transplantation.
Let me explain why this is beneficial.
Many patients who need organ transplants also have donor-specific human leukocyte antigen that hinders them from being able to find an adequate donor. In fact, these patients make up about 30% of total candidates for organ transplants. The drug that Hansa is developing would allow those patients to dramatically improve their chances of finding a donor match by removing the barrier of HLA sensitization.
In the specific results of the study, it was found that after an administration of this drug, successful (kidney) transplantation was able to occur in all but one of the 25 patients, and these patients had normalized kidney function six months after surgery.
It just goes to show that when there’s a will, there’s a way, and hopefully soon, there will be nothing standing in the way of patients who need of some healthy organs.
To learn more about this exciting new option for organ donor candidates from Rare Disease Report, click here!