Stem Cell

Clinical trials of stem cell-based “functional cure” for type 1 diabetes underway

A new treatment currently undergoing human clinical trials could see the end of pin prick tests ...
A new treatment currently undergoing human clinical trials could see the end of pin prick tests for diabetics

A human clinical trial examining the safety and efficacy of a “functional cure” for type 1 diabetes is currently underway. Trials of the novel islet cell replacement therapy developed by ViaCyte involve a device containing stem cells being implanted into a patient with type 1 diabetes. It’s hoped these cells will then mature into human islet tissue with insulin-producing beta cells that produce insulin on demand.

So far, 2017 is proving to be an exciting year for breakthroughs in diabetes research, particularly in regards to treatments for type 1 diabetes. We have seen two very promising developments based in gene therapy, while a human trial for a type 1 diabetes vaccine is currently underway in Finland targeting a viral group known to trigger the disease.

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The new treatment developed by ViaCyte is being described as a “functional cure” in that it could replace the missing insulin cells in a diabetic patient, as opposed to a more direct “cure” which would address the autoimmune roots of…