September 19, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Diabetes Cure

9 min read

When I think of the promise of stem cells for diabetes, the privately held California stem cell firm ViaCyte is the first biotech that comes to mind now. It has promising stem cell clinical trial work building. Today’s post is a new interview with the company’s CEO Paul Laikind. For past posts on ViaCyte see here, which includes an interview with Laikind a few years ago. PK: The last time we talked was in March 2015. Can you please update us on the VC-01 trial? How …Read More

2 min read

There has been considerable discussion about the whether the media hyped the recent Harvard Diabetes stem cell paper (see top 10 takeaways of that paper) . I believe that this was greatly hyped. This Harvard publication reported production of insulin-secreting cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESC). Newspapers around the world widely exaggerated the potential impact of this paper. They often used the word “cure”. Perhaps the worst offender was the Telegraph with their headline “Cure for Type 1 diabetes imminent after Harvard stem-cell breakthrough“. I’m not …Read More

3 min read

The idea of using stem cells for treat Type I Diabetes is very promising and could have huge practical impact. Real progress has been achieved toward this goal over the last decade. In perhaps another decade there might be a validated treatment. A new stem cell paper has just come out in Cell from Harvard in this area. It reports making insulin-producing β cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESC) with the notion of some day using these cells to treat Diabetes. See graphical abstract at left from the …Read More

2 min read

Type 1 Diabetes is a huge global problem. Where are the solutions that would compliment or replace insulin therapy for diabetics? There haven’t been too many that have gotten very far, which makes the news of a potential stem cell-based therapy moving along in the pipeline all the more exciting. ViaCyte (see more posts here, here, here, here on the company) just got FDA approval for its investigational new drug (IND), paving the way to start a combined Phase I/II clinical trial. ViaCyte was …Read More