FYI, this is the section in question:
the membrane is not designed to protect against a patient’s immune system. So PEC-Direct patients would also get immune-suppressant drugs.
Seems like they are also working on one that doesn’t need to involve immuno-suppressive drugs which would be of more interest, but isn’t what the money is being raised for.
That’s really too bad. Swapping the slavery of diabetes for the slavery of immuno-suppressants is not automatically a win.
The immune-protecting one is called Encaptra I believe. That one is earlier along; Phase I/II, and the cells don’t secrete enough insulin yet to make it wroth their while… still, even PEC-Direct would likely be a boon for many long-timers, because now most can’t qualify for an islet cell transplant unless some other organ is failing. There just aren’t enough pancreatic cells to go around, even for the people who meet these treatment guidelines.
@TiaG, your knowledge of this field is really encyclopedic.
They had some setbacks with the non-immunosuppressant version (http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/biotech/sd-me-biotech-adjustments-20161007-story.html) with the immune system walling off the implant but they are learning from their trials for the next version. I wish there was more news/updates in general on progress in diabetes research, it seems there are lots of stories of new advances mostly untested in humans, and then we never hear about them again…