PANCREATIC ISLETS ALLOTRANSPLANTATION
BRITTLE TYPE 1 DIABETES MELLITUS
Pancreatic islet allotransplantation has been developed as a minimal invasive therapy and alternative to a whole pancreas transplantation.
Pancreatic islets are isolated by Dr. Witkowski’s team from a cadaveric pancreas at The University of Chicago cGMP facility, a special lab designed for processing cells for clinical therapy which is specially deisgned to process cells for the transplant.
Islets are cultured in an incubator and once the patient is ready, infused via the portal vein into the patient’s liver under local anesthesia. This procedure takes up to one hour. After the procedure, the transplanted islets help diabetic patients restore proper glucose control, prevent life-threating severe hypoglycemic episodes and ultimately remove the need for insulin supplementation.
Phase 1/2 and 3 studies have been successfully accomplished at The University of Chicago,. Biological License Application for islet cell as a biological product is in process for submission to the FDA. Approval from FDA, would allow islet transplantation to be a standard of care procedure that is reimbursed by medical insurance benefiting thousands of diabetic patients.
Currently, Dr. Witkowski is seeking additional research funding to continue optimization and efficiency of the procedure: protect patients from diabetes for longer periods of time, limit the need for immunosuppressive medication, limit side effects and reduce the necessary number of islets and number of transplants.