Stem cell therapies could treat diabetes by helping the body boost insulin production

istock x

Each year, 40,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, an auto­immune disease that wipes out insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells and raises blood glucose to dangerously high levels.

In recent years, advances in the lab have drawn attention to an alternative approach. Perhaps most dramatically, in 2014, a research group at Harvard University reported using insulin-producing cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to lower blood glucose levels in mice.

Spurred by such successes, numerous labs now are exploiting rapid progress in human stem cell technology to develop functional equivalents of beta cells.

Semma, which was launched in 2014 to commercialize the Harvard group’s work and counts Novartis among its backers, describes its cells as fully mature, meaning that they are completely differentiated into beta or other cells before transplantation. “Our cells are virtually indistinguishable from the ones you would isolate from donors,” says Semma chief executive officer Bastiano Sanna.

Related article:  ISIS leader al-Baghdadi's remains may have been identified with new rapid DNA testing technology

Eventually, all three firms hope to extend their work to treat some of the 400 million people worldwide with type 2 diabetes, many of whom eventually benefit from insulin injections.

Read full, original post: Biotechs Race to Develop Stem Cell Treatments for Diabetes

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
ft covidresponseus feature

Video: Viewpoint: The US wrote the global playbook on the coronavirus and then ignored it

A year ago, the United States was regarded as the country best prepared for a pandemic. Our government had spent ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend