Xenotransplantation Action Plan
- Available Documents
- Meeting Transcripts
- Secretary's Advisory Committee on Xenotransplantation
- International Information
- References for the Regulatory Process for the Office of Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies
Xenotransplantation is any procedure that involves the transplantation, implantation, or infusion into a human recipient of either (a) live cells, tissues, or organs from a nonhuman animal source, or (b) human body fluids, cells, tissues or organs that have had ex vivo contact with live nonhuman animal cells, tissues or organs. The development of xenotransplantation is, in part, driven by the fact that the demand for human organs for clinical transplantation far exceeds the supply. Currently ten patients die each day in the United States while on the waiting list to receive life-saving vital organ transplants. Moreover, recent evidence has suggested that transplantation of cells and tissues may be therapeutic for certain diseases such as neurodegenerative disorders and diabetes, where, again human materials are not usually available. Although the potential benefits are considerable, the use of xenotransplantation raises concerns regarding the potential infection of recipients with both recognized and unrecognized infectious agents and the possible subsequent transmission to their close contacts and into the general human population. Of public health concern is the potential for cross-species infection by retroviruses, which may be latent and lead to disease years after infection. Moreover, new infectious agents may not be readily identifiable with current techniques.
To provide a comprehensive approach for the regulation of xenotransplantation that addresses the potential public health safety issues associated with xenotransplantation and to provide guidance to sponsors, manufacturers and investigators regarding xenotransplantation product safety and clinical trial design and monitoring.