August 14, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Diabetes stem cells

1 min read

Chalk up another exciting development for the stem cell and regenerative medicine field in 2014. It’s been a huge year. 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, …Read More

2 min read

All the recent high-profile papers that are having troubles are bumming me out, with the latest example being the “Betatrophin” Diabetes paper from Harvard last year. Yesterday it was called into major doubt by a new Cell paper from a group led by Jesper Gromada at Regeneron. The authors of the original 2013 Betatrophin paper–Doug Melton’s team at Harvard– indicated in their own accompanying, somber perspectives piece also in yesterday’s issue of Cell that they agree that their 2013 report was largely incorrect. This unfortunate turn of events is based on both …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