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Novocell Reports Successful Use of Stem Cells to Generate Insulin in Mice
Date:2/20/2008

sulin secreting cells that are functionally similar to adult human beta cells."

Current cellular therapy for diabetes is performed by transplanting donor-derived human islets combined with chronic immunosuppression. While this has been demonstrated to be an effective therapy, the limited availability of donated pancreatic islets and the adverse side effects of long-term immunosuppression make this replacement therapy unsuitable for the general diabetes population.

Together with its stem cell engineering technology for insulin-producing cells, Novocell has also developed a delivery process by which such cells might be delivered to patients without the need for chronic immunosuppression. Novocell's encapsulation technology provides a protective, coating for cells, thus allowing them to be more readily accepted in the body without the chronic use of immunosuppressive drugs. This encapsulation technology has been successfully tested in human clinical trials using human islets isolated from donor organs.

"By developing proprietary processes to successfully generate insulin-producing cells from hES cells in vivo and protecting these cells from immune system rejection, we have created a potential treatment option that could lead to the first widespread application of cell replacement therapy for the treatment of diabetes," said Alan J. Lewis, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Novocell. "We look forward to the continued advancement of these technologies that hold such promise for transforming the treatment of diabetes."

About Diabetes

Type 1, or insulin-dependent diabetes occurs when the pancreas ceases to produce insulin due to an autoimmune response that causes the selective destruction of insulin producing cells. People with Type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin and are candidates for pancreatic islet cell transplantation, which provides the potential to treat the disease. The disease is most common in children and young
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SOURCE Novocell, Inc.
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