From the Heart: Texas Organ Sharing Alliance Partnership Makes History

2/15/2022
SAN ANTONIO — Vascular Perfusion Solutions, Inc. (VPS) has received its first donated human heart for research through a partnership with Texas Organ Sharing Alliance (TOSA). VPS is the creator of the VP.S Encore™ device, a groundbreaking, self-contained transport device that uses oxygen to preserve vascularized tissue.

In a breakthrough experiment with the donated heart, VPS successfully achieved a preservation time of eight hours in its VP.S Encore™ device. More telling, the total out-of-body time during the experiment was 11 hours. This included one-hour of cold ischemia plus 8 hours of perfusion and two hours of reperfusion testing for cardiac viability and function. This contrasts with the current standard of care in organ transplantation where hearts remain viable for only four to six hours.

“We sincerely thank the donor, their family and TOSA for their immense generosity and support of our research,” said Tom DeBrooke, Chairman of the Board at VPS. “This selfless act by the donor and their family moves us closer than ever before to bringing our device to patients around the world, and saving more organs and lives.”

In the U.S. alone there are currently more than 106,000 men, women and children on the national waiting list who are waiting to receive a life-saving organ transplant. VP.S Encore™ has been created specifically to address limitations in the transport of organs for transplant, designed to be carried in the passenger seat of a commercial airliner, to help take time and distance out of the equation.

“We are excited to partner with VPS in research efforts to provide more organs for transplant and to be the first OPO testing this technology,�� states TOSA President and CEO Joseph Nespral. ���The VP.S Encore™ device will help extend the distance hearts can travel, thereby saving more lives in the near future. This is history in the making.”

While the VP.S Encore™ device is currently focused on hearts, it will eventually be engineered to extend the viability of kidneys, lungs, livers and more. It may also provide a platform for other uses, such as ex vivo organ treatment, and possibly, organ banking. VPS is currently in preliminary discussions with the FDA regarding use and approval of the device to transport hearts.

February is American Heart Month, and this research opportunity offers hope to the 3,450 children and adults who are currently on the waiting list for a heart transplant in the U.S. VPS and TOSA also celebrate this milestone as part of National Donor Day on Feb. 14 as an opportunity to thank all donors and their families for giving the gift of life and helping the future of transplantation via research.

Organ donation saves thousands of lives each year. One person can save eight lives through the gift of organ donation. Information on organ donation and how to sign up as a life-saving donor can be found at TOSA1.org.