ITL secures 5-year manufacturing contract for liver transplantation device

20 January 2021 News

University spin-out and leader in the field of organ preservation, OrganOx, has signed a 5-year manufacturing contract with ITL for their portable, performance-critical medical device, metra®, a Normothermic Perfusion System.

The system operates by supplying a donated liver with oxygenated blood, anti-clotting drugs and assorted nutrients, while keeping the organ at a stable temperature (37°C). metra® has the potential to significantly reduce the number of discarded livers caused by damage incurred by cold storage or a lack of oxygen. The metra® system can preserve and maintain a donated liver for up to 24 hours between the point of retrieval and transplantation. This extended preservation time will increase the number and quality of livers available to transplant patients.

In a recent BBC article, Professor Kevin Harris, at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), commented, “it (normothermic perfusion) offers another way of preserving the liver and assessing whether livers which might have previously been considered unsuitable can be used safely. “By using this procedure, more patients on the organ transplant waiting list could be offered a chance of a transplant and thereby potentially extending their lives.”

Darius Mirza, professor of transplant surgery at University Hospitals Birmingham, said the machine was a ‘game-changer’. “In the 30 years I’ve been involved with transplantation, there have been three or four events which have been game-changers, and I’m absolutely certain we are looking at a game-changer that will change the way we practice organ storage and transplantation.” Liver perfusion is currently performed on the NHS in a small number of specialist centers in the UK.

Craig Marshall, CEO, OrganOx Limited, commented, “This agreement is strategically important to OrganOx as we prepare to penetrate the US market, I have a manufacturing background, and I know the importance of working with the best partners in the supply chain. ITL is a great fit with OrganOx given their track record of successfully bringing medical devices to the market coupled with UK headquarters and with a presence in the US.”

Tom Cole, Managing Director, ITL, said, “We are delighted to be working in partnership with OrganOx on this ground-breaking project. This agreement is another important milestone positioning metra® as one of the most promising transplantation candidates in late-stage development. This collaboration marks the beginning of what I’m sure will be a very exciting journey for both ITL and OrganOx.”