Talaris Therapeutics Announces Collaboration with Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates to Advance Preclinical Study of Tolerance Induction to Organs from Deceased Donors

BOSTON, Mass., and LOUISVILLE, Ky., September 14, 2020 – Talaris Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company developing transformative cell therapies that have the potential to induce durable immune tolerance across a range of indications, today announced a collaboration with Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA). KODA is an independent, non-profit organ and tissue procurement organization that facilitates deceased donor transplants throughout Kentucky, southern Indiana and western West Virginia. The collaboration will advance preclinical studies of the potential of Talaris’ allogeneic cell therapy to induce immune tolerance to an organ from a deceased donor. 

Organ donation from deceased donors makes possible more than 80 percent of solid organ transplants in the U.S. These transplants are frequently lifesaving, but they bring the burden of lifelong immunosuppression for organ recipients, which puts patients at heightened risk of infection as well as a number of other potentially serious side effects. Additionally, immunosuppressant drugs are toxic to the kidneys over time, which can result in declining kidney function and necessitate another organ transplant. 

“Talaris’ novel cell therapy, FCR001, has shown promising potential to eliminate the need for immunosuppression among recipients of kidney transplants from living donors. Our collaboration with KODA will be an important step toward potentially extending this promise to recipients of organ transplants from deceased donors as well,” said Scott Requadt, Chief Executive Officer of Talaris. 

Within the collaboration, KODA, after authorization from the donor’s family, will recover vertebrae from deceased organ donors. Researchers at Talaris will then isolate stem cells from the vertebrae, with the goal of demonstrating the feasibility of producing FCR001 from vertebral bone marrow. These preclinical studies will serve as a first step toward enabling future clinical studies to evaluate whether FCR001 administered alongside organ transplantation can induce durable immune tolerance to an organ from a deceased donor. 

“The generosity organ donors and their families display is measureless. By initiating this collaboration with Talaris, we hope to further honor their gift by advancing an important treatment for transplant recipients with the potential to improve many individuals’ lives,” said Julie Bergin, RN, BSN, MHA, President & Chief Executive Officer of KODA. 

About Talaris Therapeutics
Talaris Therapeutics, Inc. is a late-clinical stage biotechnology company that is developing transformative cell therapies with the potential to eliminate the burden of chronic immunosuppression for organ transplant recipients as well as induce durable remissions in patients with severe auto-immune and immune-mediated disorders. Talaris was founded on technology discovered and developed by Dr. Suzanne Ildstad and operates its own cell processing facility in Louisville, KY. Talaris is backed by leading life sciences investors Blackstone Life Sciences, Longitude Capital and Qiming Venture Partners USA and maintains corporate offices in Boston, MA and Louisville, KY. www.TalarisTx.com.

About Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) 
Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates is dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. KODA is an independent, federally designated, non-profit organ and tissue procurement organization formed in 1987. KODA was recognized by Louisville Business First as the Nonprofit of the Year in 2011. KODA’s mission is to provide organ and tissues to those in need and to maintain a profound respect for those who gave. KODA serves 114 counties in Kentucky, 4 counties in southern Indiana and 2 counties in western West Virginia. For more information visit donatelifeky.org  or call 1-800-525-3456.