Trial: first human implants of stem-cell-issued beta cells

This European trial uses ViaCyte’s stem cell line product PEC Direct, and has started implanting them in human subjects: First Human Trial of Stem Cell-derived Implants Underway in Type 1 Diabetes in Europe.

My notes:

  • This is a generic stem cell line, so it needs to use immuno-suppressants

  • The implantations are in “subtherapeutic doses” so they are not expect to suppress use for insulin, only reduce it.

  • Still, great interest if this was made available at reasonable cost, since the cadaver-based “City of Hope” transplants are the only known “cure” I am aware of.

PEC Direct:

I did find a press release from Viacyte dated mid 2017 saying they had started a US implant trial:

To me, the most significant change in this direction will be when it is possible to grow replacement beta cells from the patient herself. The auto-immune issue remains.


Saw this today: Under-the-skin implant could treat Type I diabetes | Cornell Chronicle

Seems similar to Vertex work, but with a different method of application. Here’s hoping some of us get to help with their work or the results of it!


I saw your post and something made me laugh.

You are perhaps familiar with the cure being “only 5 years away”. I first heard that 50 years ago!

So just seeing this today made me chuckle…


I’ve come to feel the same way in the couple of years I’ve been T1! I’m just optimistic enough to still hold out hope someone reading these posts (admittedly a young person, if not a child) will benefit from studies like this! “Progress” is fits and starts, mostly incremental change, but with moments of shear terror and marvelous successes!