October 27, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Diabetes Stem Cell Milestone: ViaCyte Transplants 1st Patient

viacyte encaptra diabetes device
Viacyte encaptra diabetes device.

Chalk up another exciting development for the stem cell and regenerative medicine field in 2014 related to diabetes. It’s been a huge year. (Update: read my Fall 2019 interview with ViaCyte here.)

For the first time ever, an ES cell-based device has been transplanted into a diabetic patient.

ViaCyte working together with Dr. Robert Henry at UCSD did the pioneering transplant, the first in a series as part of an FDA-approved clinical trial being conducted as UCSD Health System.

The trial is a combined Phase I/II testing the safety of ViaCyte’s VC-01 product.

The PR says, “In an open-label, dose-escalating format, ViaCyte expects to enroll approximately 40 patients in the study at multiple clinical sites.” It is entitled “A Safety, Tolerability, and Efficacy Study of VC-01™ Combination Product in Subjects With Type I Diabetes Mellitus.”

VC-01 employs human pancreatic progenitor cells derived from human ES cells. The rationale here is that in preclinical studies the cells were shown to have a significantly positive influence on blood sugar in Diabetic mice.ViaCyte New Logo

This is an exciting, positive development for the field and for patients. I can’t wait to see how the trial goes and am cautiously hopeful.

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