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Breakthrough research identifies how cells from pigs may cure diabetes
Date:9/22/2007

ectious disease transmission is lower with xenotransplantation of islets.

  • Bioengineering of islet implantation sites into a pre-vascularized, cytoprotective and immune-privileged site will allow for local and selective immunosuppression.

  • Promoting long-term survival of the porcine islet xenografts in humans.

As Hering and his team prepare to enter into clinical trials slated to commence within three years Spring Point Project (www.springpointproject.org), a non-profit organization, is helping to grow a population of medical grade pigs so that once the cure is realized, diabetes sufferers will find the treatment to be widely available and affordable.

Dr. Henk-Jan Schuurman, CEO of Spring Point Project, will moderate the Source Pigs for Xenotransplantation Trials Symposium on Saturday, September 15 at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, during the Joint Conference.

In order to have high health pigs available for clinical trials, Spring Point Project now operates a 21,000-square-foot biosecure facility in Western Wisconsin called the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation Islet Resource Facility. Inside, a team of highly skilled veterinarians and animal care staff is actively raising high health pigs in compliance with governmental regulations a charge that requires the pigs to be housed in an ultra clean biosecure environment, fed special food and given only purified water to drink and filtered air to breathe.

Continuing to populate our Islet Resource Facility brings us closer to meeting our ultimate goal of curing diabetes, Schuurman says. With the pigs that are currently housed in our biosecure facility, were already expediting the widespread availability of islet cell tissue so that an adequate supply of pig donors will be available for clinical islet cell transplantation trials using patients with diabetes.


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Source:Eurekalert

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