(Reuters) - Stem cells can be transformed into the pancreatic cells needed to treat diabetes and into complex layers of intestinal tissue, scientists demonstrated in two experiments reported on Sunday.
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Diabetes research is on the cusp of new advances in treatment options and in understanding the underlying causes of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Among those are potential treatments using stem cells to regenerate a patient's ability to produce insulin, as well as upcoming clinical trials of a vaccine that potentially could prevent type 1 diabetes.
City of Hope researchers have found that bone marrow transplantation with islet cell transplantation shows promise as a treatment for late-stage type 1 diabetes. This combination may enable patients to make their own insulin again. Results from laboratory research led by Defu Zeng, MD, associate professor in the departments of Diabetes Research and Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation at City of Hope, were published online this month in the journal Diabetes.
Osiris Therapeutics announced that it has been granted Orphan Drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Prochymal as a treatment for type 1 diabetes mellitus. The FDA instituted the Orphan Drug Act to promote the development of treatments for underserved patient populations. To be eligible for Orphan Drug designation, the treatment must target a disease that affects fewer than 200,000 new patients per year in the United States.
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