Rick Slayman, World’s First Recipient of a Genetically-Modified Pig Kidney, Dies

May 13, 2024
Massachusetts General Hospital issued a statement on May 11 regarding the death.

On May 11, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston announced that Richard Slayman, the first person in the world to receive a genetically-modified pig kidney transplant, has died.

In March we reported that MGH announced the world’s “first successful transplant of a genetically-edited pig (porcine) kidney into a 62-year-old man living with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD).”

The pig kidney had 69 genomic edits in order to successfully transplant into a living human patient. It was provided by eGenesis of Cambridge, Mass., and was edited using “CRISPR-Cas9 technology to remove harmful pig genes and add certain human genes to improve its compatibility with humans. Additionally, scientists inactivated porcine endogenous retroviruses in the pig donor to eliminate any risk of infection in humans.”

In April, we reported that Slayman was discharged from Massachusetts General Hospital.

MGH has now issued the following statement regarding Slayman’s death:

“The Mass General transplant team is deeply saddened at the sudden passing of Mr. Rick Slayman. We have no indication that it was the result of his recent transplant. Mr. Slayman will forever be seen as a beacon of hope to countless transplant patients worldwide and we are deeply grateful for his trust and willingness to advance the field of xenotransplantation. We offer our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Slayman’s family and loved ones as they remember an extraordinary person whose generosity and kindness touched all who knew him.”