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So far mkulwiec has created 22 blog entries.

Diabetes Forecast: 12 Products in the Diabetes Pipeline

Diabetes Forecast highlighted ViaCyte’s first-of-a-kind islet cell replacement therapy in an article discussing twelve innovative products being developed to treat and manage type 1 diabetes.

ViaCyte has discovered how to turn human stem cells into pancreatic precursor cells that can mature to produce insulin and control blood glucose levels in animal models.  These cells are currently being tested in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial in patients with type 1 diabetes.  The precursor cells are contained in ViaCyte’s semi-permeable device and implanted under the skin of diabetic patients, and preliminary clinical results have been promising.

Read more in Diabetes Forecast.

ViaCyte and CIRM Collaborate to Train the Next Generation of Stem Cell Scientists

In ViaCyte’s ongoing efforts to train and support future generations, we are proud to be a part of the Bridges to Stem Cell Research and Therapy Awards Program, which was established by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).  ViaCyte, along with several other California companies, institutions, and universities volunteer to assist in the training and development of undergraduate and masters students interested in pursuing careers in regenerative medicine.

As soon as I learned about the incredible potential of regenerative medicine, I was drawn to the idea of using stem cells to replace or augment biological systems. The CIRM Bridges program provided a unique opportunity to intern, and eventually work, at ViaCyte, which continues to further my understanding of the complexity and promise that stem cells hold for regenerative medicine.

Leah Elliott, former CIRM Bridges trainee, became an engineer at ViaCyte

CIRM recognizes that continued advancement in stem cell research requires an increasing number of experienced and highly skilled scientists who are passionate about stem cell biology.  CIRM’s Bridges program provides funding to support a two-year hands-on experience with coursework, lab internships, educational enhancement activities, and, importantly, engagement with patients.  Undergraduate or masters students who are enrolled at an accredited California academic organization can apply for the program.

Each year, ViaCyte hosts and trains several promising young scientists for the internship portion of the Bridges program.  To date, ViaCyte has hosted ten students from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, and we have been incredibly impressed with the caliber of students who have interned with us.  In fact, one intern who completed the Bridges training at ViaCyte was subsequently hired by the company as a full-time engineer.

The Bridges program has proven highly successful overall, with 95 percent of the 700 students who have completed the program now either working in laboratories, enrolled in school, or applying to graduate school.  And in January of 2016, CIRM re-upped the Bridges program with an additional $42 million investment .

CIRM president and CEO Randal Mills said, “It’s not just a matter of giving them money, but also of giving them good mentors who can help train and guide them, giving them meaningful engagement with patients and patient advocates, so they have a clear vision of the impact the work they are going can have on people’s lives.”

ViaCyte is proud to be a part of such a strong program that is inspiring the next generation of regenerative medicine researchers who will advance stem cell therapies to improve lives.

Watch what these students do next after the Bridges program.

Read about what the students at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo are doing in the Bridges program.

ViaCyte to Present at IDF World Diabetes Congress 2015

SAN DIEGO, November 17, 2015 — ViaCyte, Inc., a privately-held regenerative medicine company with the first pluripotent stem cell-derived islet replacement therapy for the treatment of diabetes in clinical-stage development, today announced a company presentation at the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) World Diabetes Congress 2015, which will take place in Vancouver, Canada, November 30 to December 4, 2015.

Details of the presentation are as follows:

Title:                Preclinical and Clinical Testing of VC-01™ Product Candidate: Stem Cell-Derived, Macroencapsulated Islet Cell Replacement for Type 1 Diabetes
Speaker:          Dr. Kevin D’Amour, Vice President, Research, and Chief Scientific Officer
Date/Time:     December 2, 2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. PST
Location:         Room 119, Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver, BC Canada
Session:           Islet transplantation vs. embryonic stem cells: Where does the future lie?

ViaCyte’s VC-01™ product candidate, a first-in-class cell replacement therapy for the treatment of type 1 diabetes, is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 trial called STEP ONE, or Safety, Tolerability, and Efficacy of VC-01 Combination Product in Type One Diabetes.  The STEP ONE trial is currently evaluating safety in the first cohort of patients, who are receiving a sub-therapeutic dose.

For more information about ViaCyte’s participation in industry events, please visit: http://viacyte.com/news-events-2/viactye-events/

About ViaCyte:

ViaCyte is a privately-held regenerative medicine company focused on developing a novel cell replacement therapy for the treatment of diabetes.  ViaCyte is conducting a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of the Company’s lead VC-01 product candidate in patients with type 1 diabetes who have minimal to no insulin-producing beta cell function.  ViaCyte’s VC-01 combination product candidate is based on the production of pancreatic progenitor cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells.  These progenitor cells are implanted in a durable and retrievable encapsulation device.  Once implanted and matured, these cells are designed to secrete insulin and other regulatory factors in response to blood glucose levels.  The VC-01 product candidate is being developed as a potential long-term diabetes treatment with the goals of no immune suppression required, and a reduced risk of hypoglycemia and diabetes-related complications.

ViaCyte is headquartered in San Diego, California with additional operations in Athens, Georgia.  The Company is funded in part by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and JDRF.

For more information please visit www.viacyte.com.  Connect with ViaCyte here: www.twitter.com/viacyte and www.facebook.com/viacyte.

ViaCyte Licenses Cell Differentiation Technology to Takara Bio Inc.

SAN DIEGO, November 16, 2015 ViaCyte, Inc., a privately-held regenerative medicine company with the first pluripotent stem cell-derived islet replacement therapy for the treatment of diabetes in clinical-stage development, today announced that the Company has entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Takara Bio, Inc.  Takara will utilize certain portions of ViaCyte’s cell differentiation technology to expand its stem cell product line, marketed under the Cellartis® brand.  Takara will make the technology available for research purposes only, not for clinical or commercial application.

The licensing agreement includes ViaCyte technology for a robust method of making definitive endoderm (DE) cells from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, a necessary step in the production of a number of cell types.  Takara will incorporate the technology into the kits it markets to researchers, including the Cellartis® iPS Cell to Hepatocyte Differentiation System.

“During our work to develop a stem cell-derived replacement cell therapy for type 1 diabetes, ViaCyte scientists successfully addressed a number of difficult problems in cell differentiation,” said Paul Laikind, Ph.D., president and CEO of ViaCyte.  “Licensing select aspects of our technology makes it more broadly available to the scientific community and should help to accelerate progress in the stem cell space across multiple therapeutic indications.”

About ViaCyte:

ViaCyte is a privately-held regenerative medicine company focused on developing a novel cell replacement therapy for the treatment of diabetes.  ViaCyte is conducting a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of the Company’s lead VC-01 product candidate in patients with type 1 diabetes who have minimal to no insulin-producing beta cell function.  ViaCyte’s VC-01 combination product candidate is based on the production of pancreatic progenitor cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells.  These progenitor cells are implanted in a durable and retrievable encapsulation device.  Once implanted and matured, these cells are designed to secrete insulin and other regulatory factors in response to blood glucose levels.  The VC-01 product candidate is being developed as a potential long-term diabetes treatment with the goals of no immune suppression required, and a reduced risk of hypoglycemia and diabetes-related complications.

ViaCyte is headquartered in San Diego, California with additional operations in Athens, Georgia.  The Company is funded in part by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and JDRF.

For more information please visit www.viacyte.com.  Connect with ViaCyte here: www.twitter.com/viacyte and www.facebook.com/viacyte.

Fueling Innovation: ViaCyte’s Medical Biotechnology Career Showcase 2015

Investing in the Future

Here at ViaCyte, we believe in the importance of teaching and supporting our future generations in their scientific endeavors in order to fuel innovation.  With that, we were happy to host our first Medical Biotechnology Career Showcase where we provided high school students from around the San Diego region the opportunity to explore careers in regenerative medicine with the insights, knowledge, and guidance from the professionals at ViaCyte.

Students learned what it means to pursue a career in science by participating in discussions and demonstrations from a number of members of the ViaCyte team including execs, scientists, and engineers.

Lab 1: Stem Cells & Cell Culture – fed a mock flask of cells, and observed and imaged cultured cells using a microscope

Lab 2: Design Engineering – reviewed the medical device design process, from initial CAD to finished device and observed 3D printer in action

Lab 3: Medical Device Manufacturing –operated laser cutting materials, part inspection, and assembly of a mock device by ultrasonic welding

Lab 4: Product Manufacturing – performed a mock device filling operation in a barrier isolator

Lab 5: Histology & Imaging –observed stages of histological specimen preparation and performed inspection of stained tissue slides

A big thank you to all of the students who participated in making our first career showcase a great success!