Diabetes Research Institute Successfully Transplants First Patient in BioHub Trial
By Sarah Ford on August 28, 2015
After receiving a call from the Diabetes Research Institute's Clinical Cell Transplant Team, Wendy Peacock became the first patient transplanted in DRI's FDA-approved Phase I/II clinical trial to test the omentum as a new implant site for a DRI BioHub, a bioengineered “mini-organ” that mimics the native pancreas to restore natural insulin production in people with type 1 diabetes.
In this first-ever clinical trial, researchers will evaluate whether the omentum is a better home for the islets than the liver, the traditional transplant site. The donor islet cells were implanted using a biologic, fully re-absorbable scaffold technique - referred to as a "biodegradable scaffold," one of the DRI BioHub platforms. This scaffold is a combination of the patient's own plasma, the liquid part of the blood that does not contain any cells, together with thrombin, a commonly-used, clinical-grade enzyme.
The DRI's preliminary findings have shown that islets in the omentum can survive and function long term. This clinical trial is an important first step in identifying an optimal location in the body for a DRI BioHub.