Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Thank you, IXA members, for electing me as your president. I took office at a time when there is bloodshed going around the entire world, and thousands of innocent lives have been lost. During this tragic time, our XenoHeart team, were trying to save a single life of a patient who had heart failure and was denied any means to prolong his life. We transplanted a 10-gene modified pig heart in this patient, prolonging his life for 40 days. This patient and our first patient who lived for 60 days were thankful to the regulatory agency (FDA) and our team for giving them a few extra days to live. They knew they had very little chance of living for an extended period, but they took a chance with us so we refine what we have learned over the years in our animal models. Our team and I are indebted to the courage of these two patients and their families. They teach the value of each individual human life at a time when so many are being cut tragically short and inhumanity flourishes. We took the Hippocratic Oath to keep trying to save human lives.
All of us, the IXA members, have the same goal, and we have come a long way to start feeling that xenotransplantation has a real chance. I know most of you; we have worked together for years to reach this stage. Thousands are looking to us to provide them hope when they are being rejected for organ transplantation and are referred to hospice.
My goal during my presidency is to keep moving our field forward by fostering your collaboration. IXA has been the leader in pushing xenotransplantation towards the clinical realm. Now that we have entered the clinical space, we should strive to make the xenotransplantation option as good as, if not better, than allotransplantation. We must incorporate newer technologies to understand the remaining immunological and non-immunological hurdles. We must encourage the incorporation of young investigators and utilize their fresh and novel thinking to advance the field. While we do that, we need to reach out to the experienced members who are less active in the field but have much wisdom to offer. We must educate our communities regarding the xenotransplant option and its benefits. We must continue to engage our regulatory and ethics agencies and find common grounds to progress xenotransplantation as a standard care method.
Thanks again for allowing me to lead this Association and looking forward to taking giant strides with you all.
Muhammad Mansoor Mohiuddin
President, International Xenotransplantation Association