At this moment, it is entirely possible to envision type 1 diabetes as a disease of the past.
Today, the Schulze Diabetes Institute stands on the very threshold of bringing the first minimally invasive treatment option to market as we complete the final phase of clinical trial for human islet transplantation.
This phase, which involves studying the effectiveness of various immunosuppresive drugs, is nearing completion in 2013. Soon, more patients will be able to receive this treatment and enjoy freedom from the devastating effects of diabetes.
But we’re not stopping there.
While this treatment is effective and changes lives, it's not perfect. Human islet cells rely on donor pancreases, which are in limited supply. Without immunosuppressive drugs, the recipient’s body will reject the transplanted cells.
There is great promise that these barriers can be eliminated or minimized for an even better cure.
Our researchers are aggressively pursuing ways to improve upon islet cell isolation and transplantation technology. They've made great progress in the use of pig-derived islets, and stem cells are proving to offer tremendous potential to conquer this disease.
Our commitment is unwavering. We're working on multiple approaches to solve the same problem. These synergies will help us find the best cure faster – and we will not stop working until we do.
As this solution moves to market, we will continue to find ways to increase patient access to islet transplantation.
Today, we are one of the few programs in the world capable of consistently producing high-quality islets -- propelling the U of M to its position as a world leader in islet transplantation.
The Schulze Diabetes Institute has an established relationship with Spring Point Project, a nonprofit organization that raises medical-grade pigs to supply islets for transplantation at the Institute.