SAN DIEGO and SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- ViaCyte, Inc., a privately-held regenerative medicine company, and Beyond Type 1, a not-for-profit advocacy and education group for those living with type 1 diabetes, today announced a grant from Beyond Type 1 to support ViaCyte's efforts to develop a functional cure for type 1 and other insulin-requiring diabetes.
For more than a decade, ViaCyte has been developing innovative stem cell-derived cell replacement therapies with a focus on the treatment of insulin-requiring diabetes. The Company's pluripotent stem cell-derived islet cell replacement therapy, the PEC-Direct™ product candidate, has the potential to be a breakthrough treatment for high-risk type 1 diabetes. The PEC-Direct product candidate is expected to begin clinical trials this year and is likely to be the Company's first approved product.
ViaCyte's PEC-Encap™ (also known as VC-01) product candidate delivers the same cell therapy as the PEC-Direct product candidate but in a delivery device designed to protect the cells from the patient's immune system, and therefore will not require immunosuppressant drugs commonly used for organ and tissue transplants. The PEC-Encap product candidate is being developed to treat all patients with diabetes who use insulin to control their disease. Preliminary clinical results with the PEC-Encap product candidate have provided early indications of the potential of the approach.
"Beyond Type 1 views ViaCyte's products as potentially game-changing for those currently suffering with type 1 diabetes, and seeks to promote their continued safe and efficient development," said Sarah Lucas, Co-Founder and CEO of Beyond Type 1. "ViaCyte's mission to create a functional cure for type 1 diabetes is well-aligned with Beyond Type 1's goals, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to support them and facilitate the rapid development of their promising product candidates for type 1 diabetes."
Beyond Type 1 seeks to make a better life for people living with type 1 diabetes. One hundred percent of operational costs for Beyond Type 1 are covered by Leadership and Founding Friends, so that all funds donated to Beyond Type 1 can be used to directly support the portfolio of partner organizations.
"ViaCyte has a history of working with patient advocacy groups, such as JDRF and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), and Beyond Type 1 represents a new and exciting platform to help connect patients to product development," said Paul Laikind, PhD, President and CEO of ViaCyte. "We are tremendously grateful for the financial and social support that Beyond Type 1 is providing to ViaCyte as we work to create a functional cure for people with type 1 diabetes."
About Beyond Type 1
Founded in February 2015, Beyond Type 1 creates and funds a portfolio of programs, technologies, and innovations that those living with type 1 diabetes need to manage, live, and thrive. Because Beyond Type 1 Founders and Founding Friends pay all operational and fundraising expenses, 100% of every dollar raised through these programs directly supports the most promising global efforts working to educate, advocate, and eventually cure type 1 diabetes. By leveraging the power of social media and technology, Beyond Type 1 has been able to connect people living with type 1 diabetes on global scale – changing what it means to live with this chronic disease. Beyond Type 1's Instagram campaign "Living Beyond," showcases the age, range, and variance of those living their best life with type 1 diabetes, with the website and additional social media platforms providing supplemental education and support. The goal is to highlight the brilliance of those fighting the disease every day while always working toward ensuring a cure is on its way. High profile campaigns, collaborations, and carefully curated special events help provide education and awareness, affording a greater capacity for continued strategic fundraising. For more information on Beyond Type 1, please visit www.beyondtype1.org and connect with Beyond Type 1 on Twitter and Instagram at @BeyondType1, and on Facebook at Facebook.com/BeyondType1.
ViaCyte is a privately-held regenerative medicine company developing novel cell replacement therapies as potential long-term diabetes treatments to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia and diabetes-related complications. ViaCyte's product candidates are based on the derivation of pancreatic progenitor cells, which are then implanted in a durable and retrievable encapsulation device. Once implanted and matured, these cells are designed to secrete insulin and other regulatory factors in response to blood glucose levels. ViaCyte has two products in development. The PEC-Direct product candidate delivers the pancreatic progenitor cells in a non-immunoprotective device and is being developed for type 1 diabetes patients that have severe hypoglycemic episodes, extreme glycemic lability, and/or impaired hypoglycemia awareness. The PEC-Encap (also known as VC-01) product candidate delivers pancreatic progenitor cells in an immunoprotective device designed to be administered without the need for chronic immunosuppression thus expanding the potential treatment to all patients that use insulin to control their disease. ViaCyte is headquartered in San Diego, California with additional operations in Athens, Georgia. The Company is funded in part by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and JDRF. For more information on ViaCyte, please visit www.viacyte.com and connect with ViaCyte on Twitter and Facebook.
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SOURCE ViaCyte, Inc.