The leading Existing TreatmentThe Edmonton Protocol – the most advanced treatment currently being developed for the most severe cases of Type I diabetes – is based on transplanting pancreatic islets (islets of Langerhans), which are largely made up of beta cells.
Millions of islets are harvested from at least two donors and transplanted into the liver. Immuno-suppressants are used to protect the transplantation from rejection by the recipient’s immune system. If all goes well, enough of the transplanted cells settle in the liver and produce enough insulin to keep the body healthy.
Problems with the current treatment
- Each transplant requires a huge number of cells and once harvested, they must be transplanted almost immediately in order to have any chance of success
- Up to 80% of transplanted cells fail within the first 24 hours, presumably because the cells don't have the supportive micro-environment that would allow them to thrive
- Five years after transplant, 90% of recipients are back to needing daily insulin treatment just as before the transplant
Betalin Therapeutics' solutionBetalin Therapeutics' proprietary technology is a biological micro-environment for supporting the harvested islets. The combination of the harvested cells and the proprietary micro-environment is called Engineered Micro-Pancreas (EMP).
Anticipated advantages of Betalin Therapeutics' solution
β-cells in red.
- Fewer harvested cells will be required for each transplant, which means more than 5 times as many patients can be treated from the same number of harvests and significantly lowering the cost of each transplant
- The transplants will be more successful because harvested cells thrive in the micro-environment of EMPs and in turn, integrate into the recipient's body much more readily
- The transplants will also be more effective as the insulin secreted from EMPs is better regulated and longer-lasting than insulin from islets alone
- While at first the same immuno-suppressants as currently prescribed in the Edmonton Protocol will be used, the next generation of EMPs will incorporate stem cell therapy and additional technologies such as encapsulation, making immuno-suppressants unnecessary
Betalin Therapeutics' EMPs are a technological breakthrough that has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people each year.
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