Qihan Biotech is using CRISPR to produce human tissues and organs in pigs and transplant them into humans as an alternative to using human organ donors. The company completed its USD 8.7 million Series A funding round from the investors including Sequoia China, Arch Venture Partners and Biomatics Capital Partners. In 2019 Qihan Biotech announced it had raised over 20 million USD form CMB International and Legendstar.
CEO Luhan Yang is lead author on a paper with researchers from eGenesis, published in 2019 in BioRxriv which describes the editing and cloning of pigs with inactivated Porcine Endogenous Retrovirus (PERV) and 13 other genetic changes that would prevent immune reaction in humans transplanted with pig organs. Yang is also Chief Scientific Officer at eGenesis. Modifications were done in pig ear cells. The pig ear cells were used to generate pig clones. The nuclei of the ear cells, containing the modified DNA, were transferred into eggs from ovaries collected at a slaughterhouse. A second round of editing was used to remove PERV sequences followed by another round of cloning by transferring nuclei to eggs.
- BiotechnologyBiotechnology in a broad sense includes the use of living systems and organisms, as well as their parts for the development or production of products.
- Stem cell technologyTechnology used for isolating, generating, growing and controlling the differentiation of stem cells into specialized cells and the application of stem cell technology for medical and non-medical purposes such as producing meat through cellular agriculture.