A 58-year-old American man with terminal heart disease died about six weeks after he became the second recipient of a genetically modified pig heart.
Lawrence Faucette underwent the transplant on Sept. 20 and died on Oct. 30, said the University of Maryland Medical Center, where the transplant was performed.
He was not eligible for a regular heart transplant due to his advanced medical condition. Although the transplant worked well at first, there were signs of rejection in the days before his death.
This latest experimental procedure was part of a growing field of research aimed at promoting cross-species transplants.
In January 2022, David Bennett became the first person to receive a heart transplant from a genetically modified pig. It was done by the same medical team. He died on 8 March 2022 and his death was attributed to a multitude of factors, including his poor health before the operation, although it was also later found that the organ was infected with a virus.
Current efforts focus on pigs, which are thought to be ideal donors for humans because of their organ size, their rapid growth and large litters, and the fact that pigs are already raised as a food source.