Martine Rothblatt spoke at The Post’s 2016 Transformers live journalism event May 18 in Washington, D.C. Learn more here.
“We’ll be able to create an unlimited supply of transplantable organs through the modification of the pig genome so that there will be a supply of hearts, livers, kidneys and lungs that can be tolerated by humans without the need for life-long immunosuppression.
“We are on schedule to have our first clinical procedures, which means using these organs in people by the end of this decade. We hope for regulatory approval less than 10 years from now, and I’m pretty confident that by the end of the 2020s there will be literally tens of thousands of people a year receiving organ transplants as a result of xenotransplantation.
“When you make a genetically modified organ, it’s like a drug. But unlike medicines for other diseases, this drug has a 24-hour half-life. We all know that you can’t just put an organ on a shelf and keep it waiting there for a year. We can’t ship it to Walgreens.
“I know as a technologist that if you can have a drone that drops a pile of books on your front yard today that you’re going to be able to have, within 10 years, a drone that is going to be able to land, very softly, on the hospital heliport and have a person roll the organ out of the drone and to the surgeon’s table, where they’ll take it and implant it. We’ve placed this order for 1,000, what we call manufactured organ transport helicopters, or MOTHs, and these will be delivered within the next 10 to 15 years.”
Chairman, United Therapeutics Corporation