Released! Stem Cell Therapy Efficacy on Patients with Type 1 Diabetes
The latest clinical trial data on the allogeneic stem cell therapy VX-880 for type I diabetes was just revealed by Vertex, one of the world’s pharmaceutical giants. The patient’s insulin production function was restored on day 90 of VX-880 treatment, and his daily insulin requirement was reduced by 91%, while blood glucose control was significantly improved and well tolerated, marking the first time that stem cell therapy has restored islet cell function in type 1 diabetes patients.
Despite the fact that the research fever on stem cell therapy never halts, the progress is far more behind expectation, with hematopoietic progenitor cells as the only stem cell product currently approved by the FDA. With such encouraging results of VX-880, will Vertex take this opportunity to lead the field?
Stem cells are a type of cells with self-renewal and multi-directional differentiation potential, mainly derived from umbilical cord blood, bone marrow, peripheral blood, embryo, dental pulp, etc. They can further differentiate into many types of cells and constitute various complex tissues and organs of the body.
In 1998, American scientists found human embryonic stem cells that could be extracted and cultivated in vitro, but ethical concerns arose, and stem cell therapy was named one of Science’s top ten scientific achievements of the year in 1999 for its promising therapeutic potential. Then, in 2006, Shinya Yamanaka, a scientist at Kyoto University in Japan, for the first time obtained induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by genetic technology, which avoided ethical difficulties.
Since then, stem cells have progressively become a hot topic in the field of biomedicine, with a slew of scientists from home and abroad competing to learn more about their physiological mechanics and application prospects in various disciplines of medicine.
Because of their particular advantages among stem cells, iPSs have quickly become a hot spot for stem cell research since discovery. Although iPSs created through gene reprogramming avoid ethical issues and have no histocompatibility issues, scientists are nonetheless concerned about the inefficiency of reprogramming and the possibility of inducing mutations.
Although stem cell therapy technology is not yet mature, it is highly expected to be a therapeutic option due to its various biological properties such as self-renewal ability, multi-directional differentiation potential, and high proliferation ability, and clinical research has begun in several disease areas such as metabolic diseases, immune system diseases, neurological diseases, and malignant tumors.
As of November 2021, there are over 6,000 stem cell-related clinical studies registered on the ClinicalTrials.gov website, including 2,986 in North America, 1,315 in Europe, and 866 in East Asia. Contract research organizations (CROs) are currently diving into solutions to support the research on stem cell therapies like a tidal wave, such as Creative Biolabs which supports the research on iPSC, MSC, and the development of stem cell therapy.