One concept that worked well at for World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2015 was the round table sessions. To be honest, I arrived a sceptic wondering how much more I would gain from the sessions, perhaps an hour sitting uncomfortably trying to engage in debate. The answer – a window into each company’s current work or the question posed to the table, with focus and passion from both the leader but also those around the table.
For the session with Viacyte on “A virtual cure for type 1 diabetes” the conversation involved Viacyte, one of their investors, Janssen, and a charity focused on juvenile onset diabetes, three angles and inputs, all very different.
Viacyte are making considerable progress into the treatment of this condition with extraordinary global impact. Their solution is simple, the encapsulation of stem cell derived islets in a small device, implanted under the skin to restore insulin production. So far the safety data is promising and this device may really offer a magic bullet to the masses. Better still any safety concerns as to the ultimate fate and activity of the islet cells can be addressed by simply removing the device.
The beauty of the round table session is that you can look right into the eye of the speaker and connect with the discussion, a valuable session and a sceptic converted.
This is the final instalment in a series of blog posts by Dr Beverley Vaughan, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst from last year’s World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress, and its co-located Cord Blood World Europe, that took place 20-22 May 2015.