North Dakota Company to Produce Pigs for Critically Ill Liver Patients

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A North Dakota company is working on a plan to produce pigs to help critically ill liver patients.

Lifeline Farms LLP of Forest River would supply 30-pound pigs to Excorp Medical of Minneapolis. The company's Web site says it has developed a system to use liver cells from specially bred pigs to detoxify the blood of patients suffering from liver disease.

The system, which is designed for use in hospitals, will treat patients until their own livers recover or until liver transplant donors are found.

The North Dakota Agricultural Products Utilization Commission has awarded $46,000 to Lifeline Farms to work on a site and a business plan.

Lifeline Farms is a partnership between Craig Jarolimek of Forest River and David Newman of Wolverton, Minn. Jarolimek says it's too early to comment on the project.