Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Article Written By: Teresa Marotta


ViaCyte's PEC-Direct is an implant that grows insulin-producing cells from stem cells. This implant is now being used in clinical trials as a method to treat people with type 1 diabetes.

"There are limited treatment options for patients with high-risk type 1 diabetes to manage life-threatening hypoglycemic episodes," said ViaCyte president and CEO Paul Laikind.
"We believe that the PEC-Direct product candidate has the potential to transform the lives of these patients."

Diabetes has two forms that affect people’s lifestyles in different ways. People with type 1 diabetes do not get enough insulin as their immune system attacks cells in their pancreas that produce insulin. People with type 2 diabetes produce insulin, but their body does not know how to use it. While people with type 2 diabetes can manage their disease through lifestyle changes, there is no cure yet for type 1 diabetes.

The current method of managing type 1 diabetes is through insulin injection, but it poses high risks. ViaCyte's PEC-Direct carries cells that will mature inside a person’s body and will release insulin whenever needed. Patients with type 1 diabetes will be able to avoid daily injections and will only have to take immunosuppressant medications to make sure their bodies will not reject the new cells.

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