DiabetesCare.net interviewed ViaCyte CEO Paul Laikind, Ph.D. In the piece, Laikind explains that one advantage of using ViaCyte’s PEC-01™ pancreatic precursor cells to treat type 1 diabetes is that, based on animal experimentation, they can mature into islet cells, which produce insulin and other hormones that regulate blood sugar levels. PEC-01 cells contained within the Encaptra™ drug delivery system, a semi-permeable encapsulation device, together comprise an experimental treatment known as the VC-01™ combination product.
Another advantage of the VC-01 product, Laikind explains, is the potential that patients with the device will not need immunosuppressive medications. Thanks to the Encaptra device, the patient’s immune system should be prevented from coming into contact with the PEC-01 cells, keeping them safe from destruction.