Tuesday Topic: Just Another Diabetes Stem Cell Announcement? No.

Diabetes Stem Cell Research

I received the Type 1 diagnosis 15 years ago. Since, announcements about an artificial pancreas, pancreas transplants, and various stem cell developments, have disappointed. I understand that these have all been important developments. I get that we’re getting somewhere. Yes, the future is bright. How about today? Still filled with diabetes. It’s been easier to casually follow the research without getting invested, attempting to appreciate what’s happening in research. Continue reading

Tuesday Topic: Putting Stem Cells In My Body?

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Viacyte, a San Diego based regenerative health/drug company, set off ripples of hope and relief in the diabetes community.  We’ve been dreaming of drinking coffee without blood sugar spikes, running an hour without being low for the next hour, and not having to smother my pump’s low battery alarm during meetings.

Here’s a quick review of the announcement—Viacyte is moving forward with an application, to the FDA, to initiate Phase I/II clinical trials in Type 1 diabetes patients.  They’re testing safety and efficacy of an implantable device that secretes insulin through enclosed stem cells, turned to pancreatic beta cells, effectively removing the need for diabetics to take insulin.  Found on Viacyte’s website, here’s their grandiose take on the product’s possibilities:

“In short, ViaCyte’s VC-01 combination product has the potential to transform the way diabetes care is managed. The product could be a virtual cure for type 1 diabetes and an important new therapy for insulin-requiring type 2 diabetes.”

VC-01-cross-section-5 Continue reading