By: Sharon Kellaher
Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered technology that could be a big step toward islet transplantation. TSRI cannot give much information right now because it has not yet been published in a scientific journal. A TSRI representative expects publication soon.
The technology is a tool that isolates pancreatic stem cells and identifies the specific characteristics that make them pancreatic stem cells. It was discovered by Nora Sarvetnick, PhD, and other researchers at TSRI, who sold it to CytoTherapeutics of Lincoln, Rhode Island.
Elizabeth Razee, a CytoTherapeutics spokesperson, would not reveal specifics because a patent is pending, saying that the technology is like tools that are specific to finding the pancreatic stem cell that turns into an islet. After the patent is approved, TSRI’s research will then be made public.
In the research, this tool has successfully identified a pancreatic stem cell in animal models.
From that patent, says Razee, CytoTherapeutics hopes to make a “pharmaceutical product” that will replicate pancreatic stem cells to be transplanted into people with diabetes.