A group of Boston-area health institutions, known as the Boston Autologous Islet Replacement Program, are teaming up to develop, test and deploy stem cells to cure diabetes. The group includes the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Joslin Diabetes Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Semma Therapeutics.
The innovation began when Doug Melton, Co-Director of Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Co-Founder of Semma Therapeutics, developed a way to turn embryonic stem cells into insulin-producing beta cells without needing to put the cells into mice to mature. After this discovery, he knew he had to get these beta cells into humans but that it was going to take a group with the proper qualifications.
Melton explains, “No one institution anywhere has the expertise and technical abilities to make this kind of clinical trial possible, but in the unique Harvard biomedical ecosystem, we are able to bring all the necessary expertise and infrastructure to bear.” This new organization has the goal of testing the created beta cells in human patients within three years.
Congratulations to our client Harvard on these exciting new developments! For more information, read the full article.