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What if you had a supply of “spare organs”—hearts, livers, lungs, and kidneys—available to you as aged?

This is just one of the incredible technological developments that has the potential to extend our healthspan.

In the United States alone, more than 100,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant, and every 10 minutes, someone is added to the list. On an average day, 17 people die waiting for an organ. Organ availability represents one of the biggest failures of our healthcare system. 

But in today's blog, I want to discuss a future of “organ abundance”—a revolution being enabled by three incredible visionary entrepreneurs: Dean Kamen, Martine Rothblatt, and Dr. George Church. 

Let's dive in...


Dean Kamen & His ARMI

Imagine this: By 2030, a factory in New Hampshire (where ARMI is located) collects skin cells from you, converts them to IPSCs (induced pluripotent stem cells), grows them to billions of cells in a bioreactor, and induces differentiation, manufacturing them into your desired organ. 

This is the vision of Dean Kamen and the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI).

ARMI's mission is to facilitate the manufacturing of human tissue for organs and to automate and democratize the process—at scale. Kamen believes that ARMI will be the "birthplace of the next great industrial spurt in the world": one for manufacturing organs. 

ARMI recently secured an additional $100 million from the U.S. Department of Defense, bringing its current level of capital to well over $200 million.

At the 2024 Abundance Summit, Kamen shared updates on ARMI's progress, including the following areas:

  • Macular Degeneration: ARMI is developing a small device that can be slipped into the retina to restore vision, with animal testing underway and potential FDA submission within a couple of years.

  • Creating a Pancreas: In collaboration with JDRF, ARMI is building bioreactors to mass-produce islet cells for diabetes research, so that ARMI could start building massive quantities of islet cells to give to every researcher that JDRF funds across the US. Within the next few months, ARMI will be shipping some of these islet cells around the country.

  • Manufacturing Hearts: Dean shared that ARMI is working on manufacturing pediatric-sized hearts. They will be putting some of these “manufactured hearts” in animals this year.

Kamen also works with another leading organ entrepreneur, Martine Rothblatt, PhD who we'll learn more about below.


Martine Rothblatt, PhD – Using Gene-edited Pig Organs in Humans

Martine Rothblatt, PhD, the former founder of SiriusXM, knows all about Moonshots. Her previous Moonshot was to save her daughter, who was suffering from a rare lung disorder known as pulmonary hypertension, a condition with a near 100% mortality rate. 

Ultimately, Dr. Rothblatt did find her daughter's cure. And in the process, she built the extraordinary $12 billion+ biotech innovation company United Therapeutics (UTHR), transformed the field of medicine, and is now pursuing a Moonshot to transform the entire organ transplant industry. 

She envisions a future where organ supply is unlimited, and you can keep your body in top shape by replacing broken parts.

As Rothblatt puts it, "We do this with cars and buildings all the time… we swap out old parts for new parts and can keep things running, essentially, forever. I want to find a way to do this for the human body."

Revivicor, a subsidiary of United Therapeutics, has been making incredible progress with pig heart transplants. Two men over the past few years have received hearts from pigs raised in Revivicor's research and development facility. Each heart featured 10 genetic modifications to help them function in humans, and both men lived for more than a month. In a parallel development, surgeons have transplanted kidneys from Revivicor pigs into multiple brain-dead patients, with one set functioning for 61 days in a study that ended in September 2023.

United Therapeutics believes that clinical studies could begin in 2025. The company is constructing what it says is a clinical-scale, pathogen-free facility that will produce pigs for further studies. Output will be about 125 organs per year, and the building should be functional and supporting a pig population in the near future.

Late last year, United Therapeutics announced an ambitious expansion plan with a new $100 million organ production facility in Silver Spring, Maryland. And last month, surgeons at NYU Langone Health completed the world's first successful combined heart pump and gene-edited pig kidney transplant surgeries on a 54-year-old woman with end-stage kidney disease—a breakthrough involving a "UThymoKidney" from United Therapeutics.


George Church, PhD & eGenesis (60+ Gene Edits of Pig Organs)

eGenesis, a startup spun out of Dr. George Church's lab at Harvard, initially made 62 simultaneous genetic edits in the pig genome, including the eradication of viral sequences. They've tested their virus-free pig organs in primates with impressive results. 

Dr. Church aims to create enhanced organs that can fend off infections.

eGenesis made headlines late last year when a new study, published in the journal Nature, showed that a monkey lived for two years after receiving a kidney from a pig with 69 genome edits designed by eGenesis. This comprehensive preclinical dataset supports the advancement of eGenesis's lead candidate, EGEN-2784, toward clinical development.

In March of this year, eGenesis announced the world's first successful transplant of a genetically engineered porcine kidney into a living human recipient. 

The transplant was authorized by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration under the Expanded Access pathway and was performed by a surgical team at Massachusetts General Hospital. The patient suffers from end-stage renal disease and lacked other therapeutic options following the loss of vascular access to support continued use of dialysis. 

Following the procedure, the patient is in good condition and recovering well.


Why This Matters

The demand for donated organs will continue to intensify globally, but a dramatic explosion of organ abundance is just over the horizon. 

Thought leaders like Dean Kamen, Dr. Martine Rothblatt, and Dr. George Church are accelerating bioengineering and manufacturing to create an industry capable of producing FDA-approved tissues and organs at scale. 

From genetically modified pig organs to biofabricated organs, we have reached uncharted territory in terms of what's possible—a world where you have a back-up set of organs available if and when you need them.

Welcome to a world of abundance.


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If you want to learn more about the Platinum Longevity Trip, go here, indicate your interest and we’ll set up an interview!

I discuss how AI and other exponential tech will disrupt healthcare on my podcast. Here’s a conversation with Dean Kamen about the future of "organ abundance" that I recently enjoyed:

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Peter H. Diamandis

Written by Peter H. Diamandis


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