DIABECELL is a cell therapy where insulin producing islet cells are taken from the pancreas of a pig. The islets are then encapsulated into an alginate material. The encapsulated porcine cells are then implanted into the abdomen of patient’s with type 1 diabetes. It’s done via an easy laparoscopic procedure. After the procedure, the self-regulating cells will secrete insulin when needed. The best thing about this treatment is that there is no need for anti-rejection drugs. This is because the cells are encapsulated preventing the insulin producing cells from being attacked by the immune system. Since the cells are taken from pigs, islet cell supply is not an issue unlike other therapies, where they take the cells from a human cadavers’ pancreas.
Living Cell Technologies is the company behind this very promising xenotransplantation cell therapy and is in the late stages of clinical trials in Argentina and completed trials in New Zealand and Russia.
If this breakthrough DIABECELL research pans out and comes to market it would be huge! or should I say, maybe the closest thing to a cure, let’s hope so!