Man Who Received First Pig Heart Xenotransplant Has Died

by MCS Staff

Multiple news outlets have reported that David Bennett, the man who received the first UHeart™ from Silver Spring’s United Therapeutics Corporation, has died.

Per USA Today, “It’s not yet clear precisely what caused Bennett’s death, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, where he received the transplant Jan. 7 and had been recovering since. He began deteriorating in recent days and the hospital announced his death Wednesday.”

Two weeks ago, Silver Spring’s United Therapeutics Corporation provided an update on Mr. David Bennett, the first UHeart™ recipient, stating that “The recent transplants of our xenoheart and xenokidney products demonstrate the tremendous potential of our business model for the second half of the 2020s and beyond. Indeed, Mr. David Bennett, Sr., the first UHeart™ recipient, continues to have strong cardiovascular function seven weeks after his transplant.”

The surgery took place at the University of Maryland Medical Centre (UMMC). It was a first of its kind transplant of a genetically modified pig heart that was successfully carried out in David Bennett, a 57-year-old man with terminal heart disease.

The patient had been deemed ineligible for a conventional heart transplant, leaving the experimental surgery as his only option. In addition to not qualifying to be put on the transplant list, Mr Bennett was also deemed ineligible for an artificial heart pump due to his arrhythmia.

Prior to the surgery, Mr Bennett said: “It was either die or do this transplant. I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice.”

UMSOM, along with the University of Maryland Medical Center produced a videoof the historic xeno UHeart transplant surgery. Further information can be found at https://www.umms.org/ummc/news/2022/first-successful-transplant-of-porcine-heart-into-adult-human-heart.

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