Smithfield Creates New Unit Exploring Pig-Human Transplants

The world’s largest pork producer and processor has launched a new business unit dedicated to expanding the use of pigs in human medicine, including tissue regeneration and potentially organ development for transplants.

Smithfield Foods announced the creation of its Smithfield Bioscience division last week.

“Our commitment to innovation and sustainability stretches across all aspects of our company,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and CEO of Smithfield Foods. “Smithfield Bioscience reflects these same values by finding new uses for byproducts that benefit the health and well-being of others.”

Smithfield already sells byproducts to pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies for use in drugs for medical issues ranging from indigestion to hypothyroidism to deep vein thrombosis.

As one of its first moves, the company says Smithfield Bioscience has joined a public-private partnership that brings together academia, along with advanced robotics and pharmaceutical companies, known as the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI). This group has received funding from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop technologies that would enable the repair and replacement of human tissue of soldiers injured in combat. Smithfield says its new medical unit is also working with Harvard Medical School and Columbia University on immunology therapies.

 

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