Organovo is the organ printing company that was partially funded in the early days with an investment from the Methuselah Foundation - an investment that the Foundation has done well by so far. In turn, the Organovo founders are noteworthy supporters of the crowdfunded New Organ Prize that the Foundation is working on these days.
Organovo has engineered a good position for itself even though the technologies it works on will take another decade or two to arrive at maturity. The research community won't be printing organs next year, but between here and the arrival of printed organs somewhere in the 2020s there are many commercially viable products that build upon one another: tissue for research, machinery for laboratories, and so forth.
Wired is running an article that notes some of the recent progress at Organovo:
While this all sounds awesome, the big question remains "When can I print a spare kidney?"
The answer is unsatisfying. Even moderately complex structures, like patches of heart muscles to repair damage from heart attacks are decades out. Still, progress is still being made. "One of the dramatic things we did was to make blood vessels made from a patient's own cells, comprised entirely of human cells, that expand and contract as expected and have reached a strength that's implantable, though they are not yet implanted." says Murphy.
The first "apps" on the Organovo platform will be simple tissues which could be ready for clinical trials in just 5 or 6 years. This is an eternity in smartphone cycles, but is a breakneck pace in healthcare. Until then, Organovo will continue to serve researchers at pharma companies that give the public 3-D printer company a steady stream of revenue, a fact Murphy says is a "fairly novel thing for an early stage life science company."
Organovo also has a strong academic track record including partnerships with Stanford and Harvard along with a string of published papers that have the biomedical community abuzz. Ultimately, Murphy's primary goal is getting more people experimenting. "For me it's allowing greater access to our platform. The bottom line is it needs to be more accessible, faster to more people."
The Wired article is, I think, overly pessimistic on timelines. Yet there is still a great need for projects like the New Organ Prize, greater fundraising, and faster progress.