More than 700,000 people worldwide are in critical need of a lung transplant. But fewer than 1 per cent receive one due to the limited availability of quality lungs. Currently, only about 20 out of every 100 donated lungs are suitable for transplant. Toronto-based XOR Labs aims to dramatically increase this number with its Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion (EVLP) technology.
The EVLP process keeps lungs nourished and alive outside the body for up to 12 hours. This gives lungs which would have been discarded, time to be assessed, and transplanted if they perform well. Moreover, injured lungs can be rehabilitated instead of discarded, and if sufficiently recovered, can be transplanted. Toronto’s world-leading University Health Network (UHN) has developed the gold standard in EVLP systems. After six years of use, UHN has seen the number of donated lungs that are transplanted double. This breakthrough in patient care is only made possible through a homemade, stationary solution that requires a significant amount of training to operate and a dedicated OR. Co-founded by a team of leading thoracic surgeons from UHN who helped develop the original system, XOR Labs is commercializing a standardized and mobile version of the system which will bring this groundbreaking Ontario-made technology to patients around the world. The system simplifies the EVLP process and drastically cuts hospital costs for lung transplants. Its mobility makes it uniquely suited for out-of-hospital use, opening up opportunities to use the EVLP process during the transportation of donated organs.
OCE first supported XOR Labs through the Voucher for Commercialization and MSc PoP programs to work with its partner, medical devices innovation and engineering firm Kangaroo Group, on product definition, design and development. A follow-up Market Readiness project helped the company secure a major investment from Xenios AG.
XOR Labs is currently preparing for a late 2016 launch of its EVLP system in Canada, followed by release in Europe and the U.S. The technology has future potential for revolutionizing the transplantation of other organs such as the liver and heart.
Return on Innovation
- Technology is projected to triple the utilization of donated lungs, saving thousands of lives per year
- Potential to establish Ontario as a leader in a $2.5-billion global market
- OCE investment: $250,000
OCE©2015 Last updated 10/2015