The New Organ Liver Prize, a $1 million award for the development of a replacement liver, was announced today by the Methusaleh Foundation, a medical charity committed to driving advances in regenerative medicine to extend the healthy lifespan. David Gobel, CEO of the Methusaleh Foundation announced the liver as the first target of The New Organ Prize at the World Stem Cell Summit 2013, being held in San Diego, organized by the Genetics Policy Institute (GPI).
Gobel explained that the liver was selected as the initial target organ because it is already so well characterized, is deeply vascularized, and has its own regenerative properties. Future prizes will target the heart, lung, and kidney.
The New Organ Liver Prize challenges researchers to develop a replacement liver for a large animal. Competing scientists must demonstrate successful transplantation and function of the new organ through the following criteria: removal of the original organ; survival of the animal for at least 90 days with the new organ; and at least a 75% success rate in a large mammal by 2018.
The Methusaleh Foundation has an additional $500,000 in grant funding available for the purchase of 3D bioprinters (in partnership with Organovo) by university research laboratories that submit a competitive project proposal for review.