3D printer manufacturer 3D Systems and biotech firm United Therapeutics Corporation are partnering to develop solid-organ scaffolds by 3D bioprinting for human transplants. The multi-year collaboration and development agreement combines the 3D printing and precision healthcare expertise of 3D Systems with the regenerative medicine and organ manufacturing capabilities of United Therapeutics, focused on development of 3D bioprinted lungs.
3D Systems will collaborate with United Therapeutics and its organ manufacturing and transplantation-focused subsidiary, Lung Biotechnology PBC. The agreement focuses on development of 3D printing systems for solid-organ scaffolds, beginning with lung scaffolds.
“As a global leader in healthcare solutions, we are part of many developments and applications for 3D printing coming together including bioprinting,” said Vyomesh Joshi, Chief Executive Officer of 3D Systems. “We believe bioprinting is a powerful opportunity and we are uniquely positioned with the broadest portfolio of technologies to partner with companies of the caliber of United Therapeutics to provide healthcare solutions of the future.”
The printing system will target collagen and other building block proteins as scaffold raw materials. Lung Biotechnology PBC will cellularize the scaffolds with patient-specific biological material, including re-differentiated stem cells.
“Our partnership with 3D Systems is a major step forward in creating an unlimited supply of tolerable transplanted organs,” said Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of United Therapeutics. “By cellularizing scaffolds created with 3D Systems printers with a patient’s own cells, there will no longer be a need for immunosuppression and a vastly greater number of patients can extend their enjoyment of life through organ transplantation.”
The collaboration and joint development will add another technology alternative to United Therapeutics’ pursuit of an unlimited supply of organs for human transplantation.
“Our Lung Biotechnology public benefit corporation is taking personal regenerative medicine to its highest level yet with this practical, economic solution to a major health care problem,” concluded Dr. Rothblatt. “Indeed, we expect one personalized organ transplant will avoid years of health care spending on palliative medical therapies.”
3D Systems provides comprehensive 3D products and services, including 3D printers, print materials, on demand manufacturing services and digital design tools. The company’s ecosystem supports advanced applications from the product design shop to the operating room. 3D Systems’ precision healthcare capabilities include simulation, Virtual Surgical Planning, and printing of medical and dental devices as well as patient-specific surgical instruments. As the originator of 3D printing and a shaper of future 3D solutions, 3D Systems has spent its 30-year history enabling professionals and companies to optimize their designs, transform their workflows, bring innovative products to market and drive new business models.
“Combining the resources of United Therapeutics and 3D Systems transforms our capability to tackle this difficult challenge,” said Chuck Hull, Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, 3D Systems. “This project will be based out of our new bioprinting lab in San Diego, CA, and will rely on expertise across many technical disciplines within 3D Systems as well as the domain knowledge of our technical partners at Lung Biotechnology PBC.”
United Therapeutics Corporation is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative products to address the unmet medical needs of patients with chronic and life-threatening conditions. Lung Biotechnology PBC is a public benefit corporation addressing the acute national shortage of transplantable lungs and other organs with a variety of technologies that either delay the need for such organs or expand the supply. Lung Biotechnology is the first public benefit corporation subsidiary of a public biotechnology or pharmaceutical company.
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