UVa researchers: Drug could aid transplant lungs

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A team of researchers at the University of Virginia believe a new drug can help preserve lungs headed from donors to transplant recipients.

Microbiologist Victor Laubach says once a donor dies, doctors typically have between six and eight hours to perform the transplant. But many of the lungs expire before then.

Researchers hope to use the drug in combination with existing technology to preserve lungs for up to 24 hours. That means doctors could conceivably get lungs to people on the transplant list in any part of the country.

The Daily Progress reports that the project that has received a $3.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The team is working on an application for Food and Drug Administration testing, but they're confident about the drug's chances.