Stem cell-derived islet cell therapy shows promise for individuals with type 1 diabetes

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

June 26, 2023 -- An ongoing clinical trial for patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) demonstrated the potential of stem cell-derived islet cell therapy, called VX-880, as a future treatment option for patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D), the American Diabetes Association (ADA) said on Friday.

The study is focused on adult T1D patients with impaired hypoglycemic awareness and severe hypoglycemia.

All six patients treated with VX-880 had undetectable insulin secretion and a history of recurrent severe hypoglycemic events in the year prior to treatment.

Following treatment, all patients demonstrated restored insulin secretion, improved glycemic control, improved time-in-range, reduction or elimination of exogenous insulin usage, and complete absence of severe hypoglycemic events in the post-day 90 evaluation period, the ADA said.

Dr. Trevor Reichman, PhD, surgical director of pancreas and islet cell transplantation at the University of Toronto, presented results for the phases 1/2, multicenter, single-arm clinical trial at the 83rd Scientific Sessions of the ADA, held in San Diego from June 23 to June 26.

"These new findings demonstrate the potential of stem cell-derived islets as a future treatment for patients with type 1 diabetes, signaling a new era that could potentially remove the need for exogenously administered insulin to achieve glycemic control," Reichman said in a statement.

The study has been expanded to additional sites that are active and enrolling in Norway, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

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