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Research Areas

The number of donated human organs and tissues for patients with terminal organ failure falls far short of the need. Alternative sources, such as organs and tissues from animals are therefore urgently required. Xenotransplantation was among the ten scientific areas predicted to make headlines in 2020.
The Transregional Collaborative Research Centre (TRR) 127 aims to dissect the biology of xenogeneic cell, tissue and organ transplantation and develop evidence-based concepts that bring xenotransplantation of porcine pancreatic islets, heart valves, and hearts from bench to bedside. Breakthroughs in macroencapsulated porcine islet transplantation into diabetic macaques (C4) and life-supporting orthotopic porcine heart transplantation into baboons (C8) have been published in leading journals, demonstrating consistent positive results in the most stringent pre-clinical models. Furthermore, ongoing experiments to transplant genetically-modified neonatal islets into macaques (C3) and decellularised porcine heart valves into baboons (C7) are also very promising.
The overarching goals of the TRR 127 during the third funding period (2020 - 2024) are to overcome the remaining obstacles and to generate the safety and efficacy data required for submission of clinical study protocols in Europe and elsewhere. This has already been accomplished for the macroencapsulated islet transplantation programme (C4) and approval is currently awaited.
The Consortium is structured as three closely interacting Project Groups A, B and C, all supported by the Central Project Group Z that focuses on ethical, legal and societal issues (Z1), microbiological safety (Z2), provision of safe donor pigs with effective and stable genetic modifications (Z3), and non-human primate (NHP) studies (Z4).

TRR127 structure kleiner

A: Immunity/Tolerance

Research Area A is developing concepts to modulate immune mechanisms at the xenograft-host interface. [mehr...]

B: Novel transgenic strategies

Research Area B is developing and characterising genetically multi-modified donor pigs to overcome rejection mechanisms, functional incompatibilities, and zoonotic risks. [mehr...]

C: Preclinical and clinical xenotransplantation

Research Area C will continue to perform preclinical xenotransplantation experiments and to plan a clinical study with macroencapsulated islets. [mehr...]

Z: Central Projects

The TRR 127 has established four central projects, which cover ethical and legal aspects. [mehr...]