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Recruitment Underway For Pioneering Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Trial – The Diabetes Times –

Researchers at the University of Oxford are recruiting volunteers with type 1 diabetes for a ground-breaking study looking at stem-cell derived pancreatic islet transplants without taking anti-rejection medication.  

Recruitment is underway for the second Vertex Clinical Trial of transplantation of stem cell-derived pancreatic islets – the VX264 Trial.

This latest trial is for people with type 1 diabetes over the age of 18 and with good awareness of hypoglycaemia.

It involves transplanting stem cell-derived islets in immune-protective capsules under the abdominal wall. People in this trial will not need to take immunosuppression (anti-rejection medication).

Professor Paul Johnson, Director of the Oxford Islet Isolation and Islet Transplant Programmes and Professor of Paediatric Surgery at the University of Oxford, said: “Islet transplantation has been increasingly successful over the last couple of decades in a selected group of patients. However, the requirement for life-long immunosuppression has limited its application.

“If this immunosuppression-free trial is successful, it could be a game-changer for the management of type 1 diabetes, ultimately paving the way for our ultimate goal which is to be able to reverse type 1 diabetes in children soon after diagnosis.”

The University of Oxford is one of only five centres in Europe to have been selected to be conducting this trial.

DRWF Chief Executive, Sarah Tutton said: “Whilst there is much work to be done, we are very excited about the Vertex study’s potential to address these long-standing issues of a treatment which can transform the lives of people with type 1 diabetes and hypoglycaemia unawareness.

“If we can find a sustainable supply of insulin producing cells for transplant, and ultimately mitigate the need for life-long immunosuppression treatment, we will be able to make islet transplants more widely available to more people with diabetes.”

DRWF made an unprecedented £1.2 million award to the Nuffield Department of Surgery, Oxford in 2004 for the provision of a Human Islet Isolation Facility.

This centre of excellence opened at The Churchill Hospital, Oxford in 2006 and was pivotal in the decision-making process in 2008 which led to the NHS funding the clinical islet transplant programme for a small cohort of people living with type 1 diabetes and hypoglycaemia unawareness.

Since then, DRWF has funded around 30 per cent of the facility staff, committing almost £4 million in total to furthering the non-clinical research element of the Oxford Islet Transplant Programme.

For any information, please contact Professor Johnson via