Surgeons at Universitaire Ziekenhuizen and AZ Universitair Ziekenhuis in Belgium have successfully performed the first kidney transplant procedures as part of a national contract with Organ Recovery Systems that designates the company as the exclusive provider of preservation services for donor kidneys designated for clinical transplantation.
The arrangement calls for the use of the company’s proprietary LifePort kidney transporter at all transplant centres throughout Belgium along with logistical support services, according to an Organ Recovery Systems press release.
LifePort kidney transporter is a novel medical device for organ preservation and transportation that employs hypothermic machine perfusion (HMP) to improve viability of a donor organ during the crucial window of time between organ donation and transplantation, the release also notes.
Organ Recovery Systems was awarded the national “All-inclusive kidney preservation platform for hypothermic perfusion of donor kidneys for transplantation” by the National Belgian Transplant Society for its LifePort technology.
From 1 October this year through 2025, Organ Recovery Systems will provide all-inclusive preservation services for all Belgium-based transplant centres, including Universitaire Ziekenhuizen (Leuven); AZ Universitair Ziekenhuis Antwerpen (Edegem); Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel (Jette); Université Libre de Bruxelles, Hôpital Erasme (Anderlecht); Universitair Ziekenhuis Gent (Gent); Cliniques Universitaires Saint Luc (Brussels); and Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (Liège).
“By establishing LifePort kidney transporter as the standard perfusion technology in Belgium, we are going to show the world what the future of organ preservation looks like,” said Tom Darius (Cliniques Universitaires Saint Luc, Brussels, Belgium). “LifePort kidney transporter gives us the best shot at extending and improving the lives of people in need of a kidney transplant.”
The release further states that this announcement underlines Belgium’s position as a clinical leader in progressive transplant solutions after being one of the first European nations to enact a programme allowing the use of organs from individuals previously deemed ineligible for donation: those who died from circulatory death (DCD). Although organs from these donors were historically considered unviable, a retrospective analysis revealed that HMP—as enabled by LifePort kidney transporter—improved DCD kidney graft function compared to traditional, static cold storage, making these organs more suitable for transplantation.
“We are deeply honoured to see our LifePort technology contributing to the process of life-saving transplantation at a national level in Belgium,” said David Kravitz, CEO of Organ Recovery Systems. “As our company’s mission is to help improve outcomes in transplantation, we are grateful to have the opportunity to partner with the National Belgian Transplant Society in giving more transplant waiting list patients a second chance at life.”