SEOUL, Nov.14 (Korea Bizwire) – Korea’s small s medical start-up firm has successfully completed a clinical test for bio-artificial liver transplant. The research firm has been researching in this area for 15 years investing 12 billion won (US$11 million). Based on its successful clinical experiment, the company plans to enter the bio-artificial organ market by commercializing their technology by 2016.
According to the Samsung Hospital Organ Transplant Center, the surgeons, teamed up with Kim Jong-man, Lee Suk-goo, and Kwon Jun-hyuk, have successfully transplanted a bio-artificial liver to a 54-year-old unconscious male patient and conducted the post-surgery treatment. The patient had suffered from liver failure.
Bio-artificial liver is a supplementary organ that provides coagulation factors to patients. In order to provide it, the medical researchers extracted the liver cell from pigs and eliminated all toxic elements contained in the patient’s blood.
The surgery took 11 hours as the patient received the liver from a brain-dead patient, which was the first successful case for the bio-artificial transplant surgery case in Korea. The patient was discharged from the hospital on November 5 after full recovery.
Liver transplant is the only way to treat for liver failure patients. But the number of patients on the waiting list outnumbers the organ donors (usually brain-dead patients). Apart from that, the survival rate for liver failure patients is considerably low because the patients miss the most optimal time for surgeries.
This case becomes meaningful as the bio-artificial liver secure the golden time for both treatment and surgery for liver failure patients. Life Liver, the name of the medical research firm, is a subsidiary of HLB.
Life Liver has begun its bio-artificial liver transplant research from 2001, and started clinical tests at Samsung Hospital from 2010. Life Liver is scheduled for two more clinical experiments with three patients, and will begin earnest commercialization effort from 2016.
According to a report by Global Analysts, Inc. in 2010, the market for bio-artificial livers values about $2.7 billion. At the moment, none of the medical research centers in the world has succeeded in the commercialization of bio-artificial liver transplant. The latest surgery case will make Life Liver a step forward in commercialization of the bio-artificial liver.
By Caroline Seo (email@example.com)