Engineering Breakthroughs

Using human embryonic stem cells, ViaCyte has developed a technology to replace beta cells along with a device for delivering this new therapy.

Our technology has the potential to free people with insulin-requiring diabetes from painful and frequent insulin injections, strict diet regimens, constant blood sugar monitoring, and serious chronic health conditions associated with the disease.
Allan Robins, Ph.D., Senior VP, Science & Technology, ViaCyte

Engineering a Cell Replacement Therapy

Beta cell loss is a primary pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes, making the disease an ideal candidate for cell replacement therapy.

Human cadaver islets, which contain beta cells, have been successfully transplanted into patients with diabetes by other researchers, proving that cell replacement can work. However, this approach is not broadly applicable because there are insufficient donations of cadaver islets and patients with transplants require chronic immune suppression.

ViaCyte has the potential to overcome these limitations with advanced engineering of its proprietary PEC-01™ pancreatic endoderm cell product and its proprietary encapsulation medical device (Encaptra® drug delivery system).

Stem Cell Engineering

Starting with a single human embryonic stem cell line, ViaCyte can engineer pancreatic endoderm cells, yielding an unlimited supply of beta cell precursors (PEC-01). Once implanted under the skin of a patient with diabetes, PEC-01 cells are expected to mature into functional insulin-producing islet cells. Learn more »

Device Engineering

ViaCyte developed the Encaptra drug delivery system as an implantable transport vehicle for cells, especially PEC-01 cells. The Encaptra device houses PEC-01 cells as they mature into cells that secrete insulin and regulate blood glucose. Learn more »