A New Zealand bio-tech company has announced the success of a trial transplant of pig cells in a 40 -year-old diabetic woman who was able to give up insulin injections after the transplant.
Auckland-based Living Cell Technologies (LCT) said that one of the two patients who participated in the Russian trial of the therapy 'is potentially cured of diabetes'.
"Remarkably, a month after the first dose one patient is currently not dependent on insulin," Stuff.co.nz quoted LCT medical director and therapy inventor Professor Bob Elliot, as saying in a statement.
"While it is early days within this patient's treatment protocol these results are very encouraging,' Prof Elliot said. In the therapy, more than a billion insulin-producing cells are transplanted from the pancreases of piglets into the stomach of a type 1 diabetes patient.
The woman was implanted with her first dose of DiabeCell in September without adverse effects and control of blood glucose has been maintained with progressive reduction of daily insulin requirements.
A month after the implant, she was put off insulin altogether. "These early stage results have exceeded our expectations," Prof Elliot said.
LCT chief executive, Dr Paul Tan, called it an "outstanding result". "It increases the prospects of DiabeCell as an effective commercial product for diabetes," he said.