Oxford team begin pioneering human trial of stem-cell derived islet transplants for type 1 diabetes
This centre of excellence opened at The Churchill Hospital, Oxford in 2006 and was pivotal in the decision-making process in 2008 which led to the NHS funding the clinical islet transplant programme for a small cohort of people living with type 1 diabetes and hypoglycaemia unawareness.
Since then, DRWF has funded around 30% of the Facility staff, committing almost £4 million in total to furthering the non-clinical research element of the Oxford Islet Transplant Programme.
Patients undergoing treatment as part of this new ground-breaking first trial with Vertex, will need to take immunosuppression (anti-rejection medication) as they would for any other transplant.
However, the Oxford team are planning to start another Vertex trial soon that uses encapsulated stem-cell-derived islets without the need for this medication.
Professor Paul Johnson, Director of the Oxford Islet Transplant Programme and the Oxford DRWF Islet Isolation Facility, and UK Chief Investigator for this trial said: “Islets derived from stem cells offer the potential for an unlimited source of islets that could be a game-changer and transform the future treatment of diabetes.
“We are very excited about this ground-breaking trial with Vertex, which we are conducting in collaboration with the team in Newcastle. While islet transplantation is a life-changing treatment in patients with severe hypoglycaemia who have exhausted conventional insulin and pump treatment, it relies on the extraction of insulin-producing ‘islets’ from donor pancreases.
DRWF Chief Executive, Sarah Tutton said: “Whilst there is much work to be done, we are very excited about the Vertex study’s potential to address these long-standing issues of a treatment which can transform the lives of people with type 1 diabetes and hypoglycaemia unawareness. If we can find a sustainable supply of insulin producing cells for transplant, and ultimately mitigate the need for life-long immunosuppression treatment, we will be able to make islet transplants more widely available to more people with diabetes.”
For any information, please contact Professor Johnson via email@example.com
I would like to make a regular donation of
I would like to make a single donation of