Boston hospitals test stem-cell-based therapies for the first time

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In a step that could lead to a new diabetes treatment, several Boston-area hospitals have teamed up with the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and biotech Semma Therapeutics to make personalized cell-based therapies and organize clinical trials.

It is one of several initiatives around the country aimed at manufacturing cell-derived treatments, as the hope for such therapies creates a demand for the production of the cells.

“It’s going to be very expensive,” said Dr. Richard Lee, a Brigham cardiologist and researcher at the stem cell institute. “The big challenge is, can the strategy of using an individual’s stem cells come down to a price that’s really feasible?”

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Organizers of the Boston program still need to secure more funding if it is going to be successful. The stem cell institute has committed to funding the program for the first year, but Lee and other Harvard officials would not say how much the institute is contributing, or how much they think the program will cost to sustain.

Read full, original post: Stem cell factory opens door for trials of personalized diabetes treatment

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