In 2017, when the world’s first gene editor “pig 1.0” was born to eliminate endogenous retroviruses, Yang Luhan, co-founder of egenesis, who led the research, told Xinhua that he hoped to “establish an independent research and development institution for Chinese people in the future, dedicated to developing xenogeneic treatment methods for Chinese patients”. < p > < p > after three years, the leading team of Hangzhou qihan biological Co., Ltd., which was established after Yang Luhan returned to China, announced in the British Journal of nature biomedical engineering on September 21 that “pig 3.0”, which is expected to be used in clinical practice, has come out, and successfully solved two major safety problems of xenotransplantation, namely, removing porcine endogenous retrovirus and enhancing immune compatibility of xenotransplantation organs She and her team are one step closer to realizing the exotic dream of “everyone can use it”. < / P > < p > the new epidemic situation that continues so far has interfered with global scientific research. For Yang Luhan, although the outbreak forced the cancellation of some of the original international academic activities, it gave the team more time to focus on scientific research and communicate with international peers through more intensive online meetings than before. < / P > < p > “unlike other industries, the” enemies “of the biological industry are not each other, but new coronavirus, cancer and organ loss. This is a global issue, and we will never do it behind closed doors. Instead, we hope to maintain close communication with international outstanding scientists, doctors and regulatory agencies, so as to make leading products recognized by the world. ” Yang Luhan said in an interview with Xinhua News Agency a few days ago. Just in the past week, team members have been staying up all night for international meetings. The “pig 3.0” version of the gene editor “pig 1.0” was born successfully. Yunnan Agricultural University, Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital and egenesis company were also involved in the research. The researchers used CRISPR / cas9 gene knockout technology and transposon gene insertion technology to modify a number of pig gene sites. The pigs bred do not contain endogenous retrovirus, and have stronger compatibility with human immunity and coagulation, and have normal physiological characteristics, fertility and the ability to transmit editing genes to the next generation. < p > < p > in 2017, George church and Yang Luhan, Professor of genetics at Harvard University Medical School, announced in science that the world’s first “pig 1.0” without endogenous retrovirus was bred, which fundamentally solved the risk of virus infection from pigs to human body. In 2018, “pig 2.0” was born, which further solved the problem of xenogeneic immune rejection. The newly born “pig 3.0” combines the advantages of the previous two generations and has more potential for clinical application. < p > < p > the latest research shows that “pig 3.0” cells and human cells can not be distinguished in vitro immune test, showing good immune compatibility. The team is testing the effectiveness and safety of “pig 3.0” organs in primates, and has made some “exciting phased results”, according to the corresponding author Yang Luhan. < / P > < p > “there is a huge global gap every year, coupled with the heterogeneity of procedures, prices and quality, only a few people can make it. Our dream is that organ therapy products of the future will be available to everyone, rich or poor, high or low. ” Yang Luhan said. According to introduction, at present, the team mainly uses “pig 3.0” to conduct xenogeneic experiments on kidney, liver and islets, hoping to meet the needs of patients with uremia, acute hepatitis and diabetes in the future. James Markman, director of transplantation at Massachusetts General Hospital, said the research provided hope for millions of waiting patients. According to incomplete statistics, there are about 2 million people in need in the world every year, and the number of organ donation is far below the demand. Xenogeneic research has become an important way to solve the “organ shortage”, but it also faces three technical difficulties, namely, the transmission of xenovirus, immune compatibility and functional compatibility. The tissue structure, physiological function and size of pig organs are similar to those of human organs, so they are regarded as one of the best xenotransplantation animals. However, there are two medical risks when pigs are transferred to human body: the genome of pigs carries endogenous retrovirus, which may be “toxic” after being transplanted into human body; and pig organs may cause immune rejection in patients. With the birth of “pig 1.0”, the risk of heterologous transmission of endogenous retrovirus has been “broken”, and the research on immune compatibility has also made progress. In 2019, the Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, tried to shut down three genes that can cause human rejection in pigs by using gene editing technology, aiming to eliminate the rejection of pig organs by human immune system. The problem of functional compatibility is a technical challenge to be solved. Whether the transplanted pig organs can fully play the functions of maintaining hormone secretion and metabolic balance of the original human organs remains to be tested. According to Yang Luhan, solving the risk of heterovirus transmission and immune compatibility of “donor pigs” is only the first step in a long march. At present, the team is constantly exploring and improving functional compatibility, such as observing whether primates with transplanted pig kidneys can maintain stable water and salt balance by secreting renin. < / P > < p > even if the technical problems can be solved, there will still be many ethical and regulatory challenges on the road to commercialization in the future. For example, how to balance animal ethics for organ supply? How to properly supervise and guide relevant institutions to develop technology responsibly and actively? < / P > < p > “technological progress is often ahead of regulation, ethics and public awareness. As researchers and technology promoters, we have the responsibility to think about these issues well and share with you the logic of our thinking. Whether or not all technological progress can be applied to certain scenarios and under what circumstances can be applied to these scenarios must be continuously explored to form a beneficial framework and truly promote technology to change society. ” Yang Luhan said. Global Tech

By ibmwl