NZeno — Hitting the sweet spot in xenotransplantation

May 25, 2018

NZeno is a kiwi company aiming to supply pig kidneys suitable for human transplantation. The company is applying novel gene editing technology to unique high-health status New Zealand pigs whose kidneys would be more acceptable by the human body after surgery.

Behind this groundbreaking company are the renowned scientists who founded NZeno; Dr Paul Tan, Dr Olga Garkavenko and Professor Bob Elliott. This group are the pioneers of pig cell transplantation for the treatment of Diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Each has a wealth of experience in this field and collectively form a unique combination to be able to progress this project.

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt surrounded by the Auckland Island pigs

Pig kidneys function in a similar manner to human kidneys. However, immune rejection prevents them from being transplanted into humans. Recent advancements in gene editing can inactivate genes responsible for immune rejection and potentially allow a transplanted pig kidney to function and restore human health.

NZeno has a unique herd of high health status pigs which originate from the remote sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands. Here they were isolated from other pig herds for two hundred years and maintained a pathogen free status. To date, these  are the only pigs that have been approved for use as a source of cells in human transplantation.

Dr Paul Tan

Pacific Channel has been working with NZeno since the company’s inception and has invested in its seed round.

For more information on NZeno, please contact Pacific Channel or visit the company’s website here.