Researchers have successfully transplanted primate pancreatic islets into a mismatched diabetic primate without the need for long-term administration of anti-rejection drugs.
BioTransplant Incorporated of Charleston, Massachussetts, is saying the procedure may have eventual practical application in pig-to-human xeno-transplantation
BioTransplant announced the process is done using a multi-step bone marrow transplantation procedure. It claims this induces tolerance that does not involve destruction of the recipient’s immune system.
Tatsuo Kawai, MD, a Massachusetts General Hospital transplant surgeon, speaking at the Transplant 2000 convention in Chicago, reported that a primate model’s type 1 diabetes was completely reversed by the transplant procedure. The primate’s diabetes remained reversed at more than 230 days after transplantation.
According to BioTransplant, researchers have previously demonstrated in primates and other animal models that transplantation of donor kidneys or hearts can be accomplished in mismatched recipients without the need for long-term anti-rejection drugs.
“This work has the potential to achieve the ultimate goal of transplantation, long-term acceptance of foreign cell, tissue and organ grafts, without the toxicity associated with long-term use of immunosuppressive drugs,” says Elliot Lebowitz, BioTransplant’s president and CEO.
The research was supported by grants from both BioTrans-plant and the National Institutes of Health.
For more information, contact Lebowitz at 617-241-5200.