GEN News: AstraZeneca and Harvard Team Up on Stem Cell Therapies for Diabetes
AstraZeneca and Harvard Team Up on Stem Cell Therapies for Diabetes
March 25, 2015
GEN News Highlights
AstraZeneca entered into a five-year research collaboration with the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) to adapt a technique that creates human beta cells from stem cells for use in screens of AstraZeneca’s compound library in the search for new treatments for diabetes. The collaboration also aims to better understand how the function of beta cells declines in diabetes. Research findings will be made available to the broader scientific community through peer-reviewed publications.
In people with type 1 diabetes, beta cells are destroyed by an autoimmune response and patients must inject insulin to maintain normal blood glucose levels. In type 2 diabetes, the beta cells either fail to function properly or their numbers decrease. Human beta cells for research are extremely limited in number and availability.
However, a team led by HSCI co-chairman and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Doug Melton, Ph.D., reportedly has developed a technique, which allows limitless quantities of beta cells to be produced from human induced pluripotent stem cells generated directly from adult cells, similar in all important respects to those found in healthy individuals.
Read the full article at GEN News.