On day 1 of the World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress, Keith Thompson, CEO of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, announced, in partnership with the University of Aberdeen, the creation of a new company: Islexa.
Islexa is developing an innovative method to produce laboratory grown islets, which are the organoids in charge of insulin production.
This technology holds promise for patients suffering from type 1 diabetes, of which there are about 400,000 in the UK alone, as it may offer the option of an islet transplant in the future. Current statistics indicate that, in the UK annually, there are only 30-50 patients with hypoglycaemic unawareness who receive islet transplants due to low availability of suitable donor organs and the difficulty involved in extracting the islets.
Islexa’s technology reprogrammes pancreatic tissue from a donor into functioning islets, enabling many more to be produced, and more patients to be treated. A transplant of this nature allows the patient to have longer term glucose control without the need of administering insulin.
For further information, please read the press release here.
Type 1 diabetes is attracting attention from across the globe with in stem cell-derived therapies with ViaCyte’s recent acquisition of BetaLogics, formerly a J&J company (press release). Mark Zimmerman, Vice President, Business Development and Strategy at Viacyte also spoke at this year’s World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress in London.
Hannah Yates, Conference Manager, World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress