Development of an Encapsulated Cell Replacement Therapy for Diabetes
Dr. Olivia G. Kelly
Director, Cell Biology, ViaCyte, Inc., San Diego, California, USA
ViaCyte Inc. is a clinical stage company developing a stem cell-based islet cell replacement therapy for treatment of patients with diabetes. The therapy is a combination product comprised of pancreatic progenitors, PEC-01™ cells, encapsulated within a retrievable delivery device, ENCAPTRAR Drug Delivery System. After implantation, encapsulated progenitor cells mature into endocrine cells that secrete insulin in a regulated manner to control blood glucose levels. The renewable starting material for cell product manufacturing is human embryonic stem cells that are directed to differentiate to PEC-01™ cells in vitro using scalable processes. The bio-stable delivery device is designed to contain cells and to protect cells from immune attack. Use of Definiens’ image analysis platform for product testing and characterization will be presented. The goal is to develop a product that will achieve insulin independence, reduce diabetes-related complications, and eliminate the need for immunosuppressant drugs. Funding in part from California Institute for Regenerative Medicine; SP1-06513, DR1-01423, TR1-01215 and JDRF.