BY JENNIFER BATEMAN AND JENNIFER ZENG July 4, 2021 Updated: July 5, 2021 While forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience in…
While forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience in China has drawn worldwide condemnation, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been investing heavily in controversial research on using genetically modified pigs as a source of human organ transplantation, touting it as a “world first” achievement.
According to Chinese media, in 2020, gene editing-related startups in China alone received about 2 billion yuan ($310 million) in funding.
CCP mouthpiece Xinhua published a special feature on Sept. 22, 2020, saying that Chinese scientists had made another breakthrough in xenotransplantation technology in genetically edited pigs.
Xenotransplantation is a medical procedure whereby animal organs are transplanted into humans.
Xinhua reported that the team of Yang Luhan, founder of Qihan Biotech in Hanzhou, China, and cofounder and chief scientist of Cambridge gene-editing company eGenesis in Boston, had created a prototype xenograft with clinical potential, successfully solving two major xenograft safety challenges: removing porcine endogenous retroviruses from pigs and enhancing xenograft immunocompatibility.
Yang’s research was also published in Nature Biomedical Engineering on Sept. 21, 2020. Co-authors of this paper include Qihan Biotech, Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital, eGenesis in Boston, and Yunnan Agricultural University in China…