State’s Key Medical Innovations

Talaris Therapeutics Inc.,, a privately held biotechnology company located in Kentucky, announced last April that the company had raised $100 million from investors to develop a therapy that could improve the lives of kidney transplant recipients.

Researchers at the company are now using technology developed at the University of Louisville to enable “Living Donor Kidney Transplant” (LDKT) recipients to stay off immunosuppression drugs for the rest of their lives.

Talaris Therapeutics last October announced the initiation FREEDOM-1, the company’s Phase 3 Clinical Trial of FCR001 in (LDKT) recipients which is expected to enroll 120 LDKT recipients at multiple sites across the U.S.

FREEDOM-1 an open-label randomized clinical trial will compare FCR001 to a standard of care regimen for LDKT recipients. The research is looking to see if FCR001 will enable LDKT recipients to discontinue all chronic immunosuppression therapy by at 24 months after the transplant.

Go to for more information on the clinical trial. Email Ken Abrams MD, at or call 617-655-7545.

Another University of Louisville, researcher Virologist Dr. Donghoon Chung, one of the three Principal Investigators, are working with a new center called the “Center of Excellence for Encephalitic Alphavirus Therapeutics” The Center is being funded by a $21 million grant from NIH over five years to advance new drugs to treat equine encephalitis viruses in humans.

Since heart disease is the leading cause of death in Kentucky, providers are focused on developing best practices to treat cardiac conditions along with helping patients make lifestyle changes to lower heart disease risk.

Several researchers at the University of Kentucky’s Gill Heart and Vascular Institute are studying how doctors can use virtual models of patients’ hearts to treat patients and see the outcomes before doing actual procedures. To do this, researchers with a $3 million five year grant from NIH, are developing software to deliver better therapies for patients with threatening heart failure.

The computer model would take MRI or genetic data from a patient and build a multi-scale simulation of the heart, which could lead to more personalized treatment plans and could also could be used as a screening tool for drug companies developing new therapies.

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