Living Cell Technologies announced that its Diabecell porcine implant for people with Type 1 diabetes as well as xenotransplantation has been approved for use in Russia. It is the first country to approve the therapy, according to a recent article from Life Scientist.
Diabecell is made of pig islets that are encapsulated and implanted in the abdomen of patients with Type 1 diabetes. This device helps patients self-regulate insulin secretion throughout the body. Clinical trials of the porcine cell implant therapy began in the country in 2007 where eight patients with Type 1 diabetes each received between one and three Diabecell implants and experienced no major problems due to the device. After a year, a blood test revealed that none of the patients showed any signs of diseases transmitted between pigs and humans. It also reduced the instances of hypoglycemia.
Six of the patients showed “long-term” improvement in blood sugar levels as measured by A1C test scores. They also required fewer insulin injections, and two required none at all for about eight months.
Living Cell Technologies is currently in Phase II trials New Zealand and plans to start Phase III trials next year.