Type 1 Diabetes is a prevalent disease that affects over a million Americans nationwide. One of the most alarming aspects of this illness is that, with time, the people afflicted can lose the ability to self-identify blood sugar decreases, which can be life-threatening. In a continued effort to minimize the possibility of hypoglycemia in T1D patients, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated has recently announced that its treatment therapy VX-880, designed to help regulate glucose levels, has reached the human trial stage of its development.
The new study is set to include 17 individuals with Type 1 Diabetes and the inability to self-diagnose their hypoglycemia. VX-880 will be administered to these subjects and their blood-glucose levels will be monitored to check for therapy effectiveness and identify any adverse effects this treatment may have.
The stem cell-derived therapy works by restoring pancreatic islet cell function and stimulating such to create a means of insulin production. The clinical trial will include an infusion of functional islet cells into the pancreas of T1D patients and the administration of immunosuppressive therapy to minimize the potential of immune rejection of the cells.
In 2019, Vertex announced its acquisition of Semma Therapeutics, the lead laboratory in charge of this new form of therapy. The lab has been developing this and other stem cell research based clinical methods since its original conception, and this Type 1 Diabetes treatment is only the tip of the iceberg as far as the growth potential of stem cell-based research for future disease management.
Vertex has high hopes for the effectiveness of VX-880, as previous animal testing conducted by Semma before its acquisition indicated that this treatment radically improves the production of human pancreatic beta cells and the restoration of insulin secretion.
The company also announced that the treatment has been given a Fast-Track Designation by the Food and Drug Administration, improving the chances of the expedited availability of this vital therapy. As it stands, the company is trying to wrap up this human trial by early 2024. As with any clinical trial, there could be potential roadblocks, but the long-term potential of this drug could be a final solution to an illness that has had long afflicted patients.