|A cure for diabetes would be a huge advance in health care as well as one of the most profitable products in the history of biomedical technology. Our colleagues at the University of Alberta recently showed that transplantation of insulin-producing islets of Langerhans can cure diabetes (at the cost of chronic immune suppression). If our research program succeeds, the Islet Sheet will make this therapy available to all insulin-requiring diabetics without requiring immune suppression.
Our bioartificial pancreas consists of live, functional islets in an artificial polymer matrix. It has several advantages over previous designs, including retrievability. Last year Islet Sheets implanted on the omentum of a diabetic dog caused normal blood sugars for 10 weeks. When the sheets were removed, the dog reverted to a diabetic state. Our immediate goal is expansion of our diabetic large animal studies at the Universities of Alberta and Cincinnati. Clinical trials will follow, and a product launch is projected for 2006.
The sheet can be used with many other cell lines to deliver therapeutic compounds. We anticipate that partnering with owners of cell lines will bring significant revenues in 2001.
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