Vancouver’s Aspect Biosystems is working on a novel technological and genomics-based approach to Type 1 Diabetes that promises to circumvent the shortcomings of current treatments.
Aspect is producing a bioprinted therapeutic of pancreatic cells surrounded by a protective layer that can be implanted in Type 1 Diabetes patients.
Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), once known as insulin dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition that causes pancreatic cells to produce little or no insulin. Insulin plays an important role in regulating blood sugar, or glucose, so T1D patients cannot naturally regulate their blood sugar levels.
This bioprinted therapeutic will contain genetically modified stem-cell derived pancreatic cells that will take over the production of insulin and thereby regulate blood sugar levels naturally. This could serve as an effective and scalable therapy for individuals with T1D, allowing them to move away from both daily insulin injections and long-term treatment with anti-rejection drugs.
The new bioprinted therapeutic is the result of a collaboration with the UBC’s Dr. Timothy Kieffer, supported through Genome BC’s GeneSolve program.
“This generous and strategic support from Genome BC allows us to strengthen our existing collaboration with Dr. Kieffer, a world leader in the development of stem cell-derived pancreatic beta cells for clinical use,” said Dr. Sam Wadsworth, Chief Scientific Officer, Aspect Biosystems. “By working together, we look forward to developing a bioprinted pancreatic therapeutic that could significantly improve the quality of life for millions of people globally.”
This collaboration represents a novel technological and genomics-based approach that will circumvent the shortcomings of existing methods.
“This therapeutic design thoughtfully addresses the risks that current treatments pose to patients and incorporates genomics tools to test the system and make it safer,” says Dr. Pascal Spothelfer, President and CEO, Genome BC. “It could represent a big step forward for patients and for the healthcare system.”