A New Diabetes Treatment: The Diabetic Themselves

Kozzi-attractive-businesswoman-in-business-suit-441-X-294Diabetes is a disease that is growing at a rapid rate worldwide. There are many drugs currently on the market that attempt to keep the body stable by increasing its insulin production. Many researchers and scientists have pondered whether it is possible that, given the rising population that is getting the disease, there are alternative therapies that could potentially stop the brisk rise in the disease.

Can a patient’s own cells allow him or her to create the insulin they need, whenever they need it? Perhaps. A company named Orgenesis is initiating new approach to this, known as autologous cell replacement. With the rising numbers of people who are being affected by diabetes, the company proposed this new approach in the hopes that a diabetic could produce their own cells from their own tissue whenever they see fit. For years, the idea of using an individual’s own tissue has been a potential prospect for many companies, but there aren’t very many conclusions drawn from research on the subject of cell harvesting. Orgenesis decided to come up with this treatment due to the fact that current drugs on the market right now don’t have the desired efficiency in regards to alleviating some of the issues that diabetes poses to the human body. Many of the drugs that are currently being prescribed to patients with diabetes have many side effects, which causes many new diabetics to be overly cautious about taking the drugs that are currently available.

So how exactly would this autologous cell replacement work? A biopsy would be taken from the diabetic’s liver and then sent to a lab. Once in the lab, the cells would then be prepared and transformed using a therapeutic agent that would, in essence, transform the cells into the insulin producers. The cells would then function as the cells that currently create insulin in the pancreas of a non-diabetic. This approach is revolutionary, and will allow for many possibilities for other diseases, if successful. Currently, Orgenesis has tested the procedural approach mostly on non-humans but is working towards being able to recommend it to humans as a form of therapy for diabetes. The therapeutic agent, known as PDX-1, has to be administered systematically in order for conclusive results to be shown.

This approach by Orgenesis has many benefits. One of the first recognizable benefits that will come with this cell replacement will allow diabetics to cease having to monitor their blood glucose or take injections to increase the insulin in their bodies. The body will, of course, have to adapt to the “new” cells due to the complexity of the procedure. Researchers and scientists at Orgenesis are hopeful that this approach will be successful on humans, given that it is minimally invasive.

The World Health Organization has data stating that diabetes affects roughly 285 million people globally. There appear to be no ethical issues with this approach given these “new” cells will be the patients’. Pre-clinical studies have shown that this technique is indeed beneficial as it is not sensitive to any type of autoimmune attack. This essentially means that the body will not reject the “new” cells.

Recently, Orgenesis performed the autologous therapy on 75 donors and saw impressive results.

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