The Niche

Reply to question about cell therapies for diabetes

I recently got this query in my inbox: I would like to know how to find research trials on the reprogramming and induced pluripotent stem cells. My son was diagnosed three years ago with type l diabetes and his doctor believes that he would be a good candidate for one of these research trials. How do we go about finding these research trials and what do we need to do to get him involved, David is 21 years old. Any help would be greatly appreciated as he would like to help further research and end diabetes.

Here’s my reply. If anyone wants to add something, send it in to the comments, please. Thanks.

Hi, You can find diabetes trials by going to The portal lists more trials outside the US, but I find it harder to use.

There aren’t any clinical trials going on in diabetes with iPS cells yet. IpS cells have only very recently been differentiated into the relevant cells (Melton in PNAS), and these cells still have to be more fully characterized.(See this from Technology Review) There is some mouse work using genetic engineering to convert pancreatic cells into the insulin-secreting, glucose responsive beta cells that are lost in diabetes, but it is a very long way from a genetically engineered mouse study to a human trial. (See Smash the (cell) state and A sort-of beta cell magic )

Novocell and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation are looking at cell therapies, so is NovoNordisk; you might want to get on their mailing lists. Also, you might want to read our feature Diabetes stem-cell treatment looks to cell capsules which lists several companies and researchers working in this space. (These lump iPS and ES cells together, but the ES work is much further along than the iPS work)

Good luck.


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