US patent clears path for new type 1 diabetes treatment research
A US patent for the combination of two technologies has opened the way for new trials which could help research a viable treatment for type 1 diabetes.
The newly patented “Melligen cells” could put an end to the complicated treatment and management of type 1 diabetes, when combined with and already existing technology. Melligen cells produce and release insulin in response to blood glucose levels.
Melligen cells were developed several years ago, produced by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). The new breakthrough comes from a partnership between UTS and PharmaCyte Biotech, who have managed to overcome one of the main obstacles encountered when finding new treatments for type 1 diabetes.
In people with type 1 diabetes, the immune system, for reasons unknown, attacks the beta cells of the pancreas which produce insulin. The lack of naturally produced insulin in the body is what requires people to manually inject insulin.
One avenue of treating the condition is to replace the beta cells in the pancreas that have been destroyed. However, as soon as new cells are in the body, they are attacked and destroyed by the immune system. This is where PharmaCyte Biotech step in.
Using their Cell-in-a-Box product, PharmaCyte Biotech are hoping to be able to hide the Melligen cells from the autoimmune system of the body, and keep them alive and working long enough to make a difference to people’s lives. With the US patent being granted for the combination of these two technologies, researchers can take the next step.
Lead researcher at UTS, Ann Simpson, said: “My team and I are extremely pleased that the US patent for the Melligen cells has been granted… This takes us a step closer to releasing diabetics from the need to inject insulin daily and, more importantly, protecting them from the debilitating complications of the disease such as blindness, kidney failure and cardiovascular problems.”
“This is a culmination of many years’ work by our group and we look forward to working with PharmaCyte’s Diabetes Consortium to utilize the Cell-in–a-Box technology to encapsulate the cells for preclinical trials aimed at curing diabetes.”
The Cell-in-a-Box technology can reportedly protect cells from the immune system for up to two years, which means that this could become a long-term management system for those with the condition.
With a patent in the bag, the researchers can now move on and see about conducting trials to see how successful the treatment can be.
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