The MIT Technology Review published a piece expressing optimism about our “cells in a sack” approach to treating type 1 diabetes. ViaCyte is mentioned as only the third company in the United States to test an embryonic stem cell-based therapy in humans.
As the article describes, in October 2014 we began a Phase 1/2 clinical trial to test the safety and efficacy of our VC-01™ candidate product — a semi-permeable pouch containing pancreatic precursor cells that are designed to differentiate upon implant to produce blood sugar-regulating hormones. In this way, the VC-01 product could essentially act as a replacement endocrine pancreas.
This piece also emphasizes the seriousness of type 1 diabetes and how difficult it is for children — patients are required to prick their fingers, inject themselves with insulin, and monitor what they eat every day in order to regulate their blood sugar. Improperly managed blood sugar can lead to kidney damage and blindness.