Developing Scalable Sources of Islet Cells for Encapsulation (Immunoisolation) and Transplantation
A simple 15-minute laproscopic medical procedure to transplant encapsulated islet cells is easily scalable to address the millions of diabetes sufferers world wide. The islet encapsulation system developed by Encapsulife, although a highly complex bio-mechanical procedure, is also scalable. A challenge to the scalability of Encapsulife's encapsulation and transplantation functional cure strategy is a reliable source of high-quality islets and promising developments in that area are occurring in parallel with Encapsulife's immunoisolation technology development.
In the U.S. there are approximately 2,500 human pancreatic transplants a year from living will donors. Unfortunately, assuming there are 2,500 potential donor pancreases a year, from which islet cells could be harvested for transplantation this number, or even one hundred times the number, does not represent a scalable treatment for the many hundreds of thousands of patients suffering from juvenile diabetes, or the many millions of insulin-dependent patients suffering from adult onset diabetes.
Clearly, for both humanitarian and business reasons, other sources of islet cells need to be found, other than living will donors if there is to be a practical and scalable functional cure for diabetes capable of serving a potential patient pool of 180 million diabetics worldwide.
Both use of porcine Islets and beta cells that might be coaxed from adult stem cells have great promise of providing large and scalable quantities of beta cells for encapsulation and transplant to reverse diabetes in the millions of diabetic patients who suffer from the disease.