Orpeus is an Australian medical device company that was formed in 2017 to bring together IP and key people to develop and commercialise technology to transport and preserve organs after donation. Orpeus will capitalise on 10+ years of research from the Alfred Hospital, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (VCCRI) and St Vincent’s Hospital and UNSW. Orpeus is privately owned and has clear title to commercialise the technology.
Heart transplant innovations are synonymous with St Vincent’s Hospital NSW, The Alfred Hospital VIC and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. In 1968, the first Australian heart transplant was performed at St Vincent’s Hospital NSW. In 1984 the 1st successful heart transplant was performed by Victor Chang at St Vincent’s and in 1990 the Alfred performed their first successful heart transplant. A/Prof Dhital’s team developed the donation after circulatory death (DCD) transplant technique and in 2014, completed the world’s first distant procurement DCD transplant.
OrpeusPOD (Portable Organ Device) is an organ transport device that preserves and protects the heart (and in the future other organs) during transport from the donor to the recipient.
OrpeusPOD reduces the damage to organs when outside of the body by creating a sterile and cold environment that pumps or perfuses nutrient solution and oxygen to the heart. OrpeusPOD can be used in a hospital setting or to transport a heart across Australia on a standard airline seat and allows surgeons to assess organ health prior to implantation.
OrpeusFLO is a nutrient solution to nourish and preserve the hearts for longer to make more hearts available for more patients. OrpeusFLO facilitates preservation of thoracic organs (heart and lung) and abdominal organs (kidney, liver, pancreas) during transportation, storage and transplantation.
OrpeusPOD preserves the organs in a cold state (hypothermic) to slow down metabolism, perfusing the organ with nutrients and oxygen supplied by OrpeusFLO. This process and OrpeusFLO support normal cell metabolism and wash out metabolic waste products (lactate and CO2).
Heart failure is increasing. Hospitalisation costs for patients dying of heart failure are growing. There is a limited availability of hearts for transplant surgery. Many patients die while waiting for a suitable donor organ. Donor hearts deteriorate rapidly, limiting transportation time to a recipient. The current method of transportation on ice, in an ‘Esky’ (or cooler in the US), on a private jet has a maximum out of body time of 4 hours. Only 27% of hearts are therefore actually used and the rest are discarded because the donor is too far away.
OrpeusPOD will increase the time that a heart can be kept outside the body and make more hearts available to more people at a viable cost for the health system. Global data estimates the market for heart failure treatments is expected to grow to $11.8 billion in 2025. A growing incidence of organ failure and an aging population is driving the prevalence of patients that require organ transplants and the global market needs innovative technology.
The talented team at Orpeus have been assembled to bring more hearts to more patients, working with expertise in transplant surgery, cardiology, engineering, design and commercialisation of novel and innovative technologies.
Experienced MedTech CEO and has successfully commercialised private and listed startups developing and commercialising medical devices for international markets.
Cardiothoracic and Transplant surgeon at The Alfred Hospital and affiliations with the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute and considered a global leader in heart transplant surgery.
Industrial designer and associate lecturer with UNSW and has worked on the design and development of organ transportation devices since 2012.
Experienced biomedical engineer and project manager that pioneered the technology and manages product development.
Cardiac surgeon in China and research scientist specialising in research of donor heart preservation for transplantation and biochemical markers.
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