August 11, 2022

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Cure diabetes with stem cells: Vertex acquires ViaCyte for $320 million in cash

Cure diabetes with stem cells: Vertex acquires ViaCyte for $320 million in cash



 

Cure diabetes with stem cells: Vertex acquires ViaCyte for $320 million in cash.

In 1922, Banting et al. discovered and purified insulin and successfully applied it to the treatment of diabetes.

This discovery saved millions of diabetic patients, especially those with type 1 diabetes (T1D) .

However, for people with type 1 diabetes, it can only be maintained with insulin therapy, and there is no other solution to the underlying problem that causes the disease – the inability of pancreatic islet cells to produce insulin on their own.

 

In recent years, with the maturity and application of stem cell technology, human clinical trials of islet cell replacement therapy based on islet cells induced and differentiated from human pluripotent stem cells have begun. Insulin injection.

 

On July 11, 2022, Vertex Pharmaceuticals announced that it will acquire ViaCyte for $320 million in cash .

After the acquisition, Vertex will own ViaCyte’s three cell therapy pipelines for the treatment of diabetes, which are in the fields of human stem cell lines and stem cell differentiation.

Intellectual property, cell therapy GMP facilities, and its novel low-immunity stem cell assets acquired in partnership with CRISPR Therapeutics further complement its leadership in functional diabetes cures.

 

 

Cure diabetes with stem cells: Vertex acquires ViaCyte for $320 million in cash Cure diabetes with stem cells: Vertex acquires ViaCyte for $320 million in cash

 

 

ViaCyte has partnered with CRISPR Therapeutics to develop a gene editing-based stem cell therapy (VCTX210) to treat type 1 diabetes.

In February of this year, they completed the first patient dosing in a phase 1 clinical trial, which is expected to be completed in December this year. VCTX210 uses CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology to knock out B2M, PD-L1, HLA-E genes, thereby avoiding immune rejection after cell transfer.

The VCTX210 therapy is believed to be a key driver of Vertex ‘s decision to acquire ViaCyte.

 

ViaCyte is a stem cell therapy company that uses reprogramming technology to induce the differentiation of human stem cells into insulin-producing cells, encapsulate them into microdevices, and then all the way to the pancreas of diabetic patients, where they regenerate islet cells and produce insulin.

 

ViaCyte has invented a reproducible and patented technology method capable of differentiating phase-proprietary human pluripotent stem cells (CyT49) into pancreatic endoderm cells (also known as pancreatic precursor cells, PEC-01 cells) .

The entire process mimics the natural development of the human pancreas. At each step, pluripotent stem cells are guided to differentiate into PEC-01 cells by adding specific types and amounts of growth factors, growth media, and supplements. The entire cell manufacturing process is approximately 30 sky.

 

 

Cure diabetes with stem cells: Vertex acquires ViaCyte for $320 million in cash

 

In November 2021, ViaCyte published data from an ongoing human Phase 1/2 clinical trial (VC02-101, NCT03163511) in the journals Cell Stem Cell and Cell Reports Medicine , showing that VC-02 therapy can be effective in patients with Insulin production in patients with severe type 1 diabetes. In the study, some of the 17 patients implanted with ViaCyte’s PEC-Direct device had positive C-peptide (a biomarker of insulin) detected six months after implantation .

The data also showed that stem cell-derived pancreatic endoderm cells can differentiate into insulin-producing islet cells.

 

Back in 2019, Vertex acquired Semma Therapeutics for $950 million , giving it VX-880 , a stem cell-based islet cell replacement therapy it developed .

 

On October 18, 2021, Vertex announced that a patient with severe type 1 diabetes achieved a “robust recovery” of islet cell function following VX-880, a stem cell-derived fully differentiated islet cell replacement therapy that The recovered islet cells allowed the patient to regulate insulin or even produce it himself, reducing daily insulin use by 91% and significantly improving blood sugar control .

The safety profile of this therapy is similar to that of typical immunosuppressive therapy, and no serious treatment-related side effects have been reported. VX-880 is also the most rapidly progressing cell therapy for diabetes currently in clinical stage.

 

In addition, Vertex is developing its encapsulated islet cell therapy, which will not require immunosuppression in patients, and plans to submit a clinical trial application to the FDA this year.

 

 

 

References :
https://viacyte.com/pipeline/
https://www.genengnews.com/metabolic-disorders/diabetes/vertex-to-acquire-viacyte-for-320m-growing-diabetes-cell-therapy-pipeline/

Cure diabetes with stem cells: Vertex acquires ViaCyte for $320 million in cash

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