A permanent treatment with stem-cell based therapy for treating diabetes is about to reach patients as Johnson & Johnson, an American pharmaceutical company and ViaCyte, Inc., a player in regenerative medicine has joined hands to expedite the process of development of a stem-cell based cure for type 1 diabetes.
The therapy is in clinical trials and is reported of being tested on small number of human patients suffering from type 1 diabetes.
The stem-cell therapy is composed of embryonic stem cells contained in a semi-permeable encapsulation device. The drug delivery system of the capsule is designed to deliver insulin-producing cells to the patient and also protect them from attack by the patient's immune system.
In this therapy, researchers implant the small capsule underneath the skin of the patients that release insulin-producing cells. These capsules mimic the function of pancreas and help to create insulin in the bodies of patients who cannot make insulin on their own.
ViaCyte recently presented the preliminary results of the stem-cell therapy capsule at Biotech Showcase, a biotechnology investor and partnering conference, in San Francisco last month.
To strengthen their stem-cell research, VitaCyte acquired Janssen Betalogics, a venture of Johnson & Johnson, with an exclusive license to about 145 patents and 565 pending patent applications and the transfer of related assests, according to Fortune.
Paul Laikind, President and CEO, ViaCyte said, "For more than a decade BetaLogics and ViaCyte have been independently working toward a stem cell-derived therapy for diabetes. We look forward to delivering effective new treatments for this difficult disease."
If successful, the stem-cell based therapy cure can provide a functional therapeutic for type 1 diabetes and become an important treatment for the large number of insulin-requiring patients. This therapy can also be promising for patients suffering from type 2 diabetes who require insulin therapy.