SAN DIEGO, NEW YORK, and LOS ANGELES, Jan. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- ViaCyte and JDRF announced today that the current and former ViaCyte team are being recognized by JDRF for their pioneering work in developing the VC-01TM product candidate, an innovative treatment currently in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for type 1 diabetes (T1D). Representing the ViaCyte team, Paul K. Laikind, PhD, President and CEO of ViaCyte, Kevin A. D'Amour, PhD, and Emmanuel E. (Ed) Baetge, PhD, the current and former Chief Scientific Officers of the Company, respectively, will accept the David Rumbough Award for Scientific Excellence at the JDRF International Board Retreat Dinner on January 14th in Los Angeles.
The VC-01 product candidate is the first embryonic stem cell-derived islet replacement therapy to reach clinical testing and is currently being evaluated in patients with T1D who have minimal to no insulin-producing beta cell function. The first implant was performed in October 2014. Funding for this work came in part from JDRF and California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).
"We are grateful to not only be recognized with JDRF's David Rumbough Award for Scientific Excellence but also to have received JDRF's unwavering and long-standing support," said Dr. Laikind. "The advancement of the VC-01 product candidate into clinical trials represents an important milestone only possible because of a decade of effort by the ViaCyte team, our collaborators and investors, and our supporters at JDRF and CIRM. While much work remains, we are excited by the potential of what has thus far been achieved."
Established almost 40 years ago by actress Dina Merrill in honor of her late son, David, the annual Rumbough Award is given for outstanding achievement in diabetes research and service to JDRF.
"JDRF is delighted to select ViaCyte to be a recipient of one of our annual research awards. The ViaCyte team has made significant contributions that are moving the diabetes community closer to therapeutic solutions that relieve the daily burden of type 1 diabetes and ultimately eliminate insulin dependence," said JDRF Chief Scientific Officer Richard Insel, MD. "It's a privilege to collaborate and work with such dedicated people that are helping to change our understanding and treatment of type 1 diabetes."
JDRF is the leading global organization focused on T1D research. JDRF's goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people's lives until we achieve a world without T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, regulatory influence and a working plan to bring life-changing therapies from the lab to the community. As the largest charitable supporter of T1D research, JDRF is currently sponsoring more than $450 million in charitable research in 17 countries. For more information, please visit www.jdrf.org.
ViaCyte is a privately held, clinical-stage regenerative medicine company focused on developing a novel cell therapy for the treatment of diabetes. ViaCyte is conducting a Phase 1/2 clinical trial, called STEP ONE, of the Company's lead product candidate VC-01 in patients with T1D who have minimal to no insulin-producing beta cell function. The VC-01 combination product is based on the production of pancreatic progenitor cells (PEC-01™ cells), which are implanted in a durable and retrievable encapsulation device, known as the Encaptra® drug delivery system. Once implanted and matured, these cells are designed to secrete insulin and other regulatory factors in response to blood glucose levels. The VC-01 combination product is being developed as a potential long-term diabetes treatment without immune suppression and without risk of hypoglycemia or other diabetes-related complications.
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 and JDRF. For more information, please visit www.viacyte.com.