Company Reports that Pig Cells are Producing Insulin in Two People

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Living Cells Technologies (LCT) has announced that their Moscow trial of pig cell implantation, which began in June, is well underway: In September, the second of six type 1 patients was injected with 5,000 “islet equivalents per kilogram” of Diabecells into the peritoneal cavity.

The Russian patients will receive their second dose of the alginate-encapsulated porcine beta cells six months after the first.

Both patients are doing well. The first patient has been able to cut his insulin requirement by 39 percent, and the second has been weaned completely off injected insulin. This is good news for LCT, which recently got a promise of up to $9.8 million in investment money from a United States group. LCT hopes that New Zealand authorities will allow them to begin another set of clinical trials in New Zealand before Christmas.

This trial will involve eight long-standing type 1s who will receive higher doses of Diabecells than the Russian patients. LCT has met all the regulatory requirements and obtained the necessary ethics approvals, so are just waiting for permission to go forward from the New Zealand Ministry of Health. Based upon those approvals, their stock recently soared three cents.

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Sources: Stuff.co.nz; the Age Company, Ltd, October 2007; LCT press release

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