Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Pigs arrived in biosecure facility

Milestone in finding the cure for diabetes

For the millions of people worldwide who are afflicted with diabetes, we are now one step closer to a potential cure for the disease.

Spring Point Project, a non-profit organization created to expedite the widespread availability of islet tissue for diabetes care, has now conducted the first animal population of its biosecure animal facility in Western Wisconsin to breed and maintain high-health, pathogen-free pigs. Insulin-producing islet cells from such high-health pigs are needed to meet the demands in the diabetes community that cannot be realized by using transplantation of human islets.

This facility was funded by a $6.2 million grant from the Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation's (DRWF), a Washington, D.C. based nonprofit worldwide network dedicated to finding and funding the cure for diabetes. Ryan Companies, U.S., constructed the DRWF Islet Resource Facility.

... more about:
»Diabetes »Facility »high-health »islet »transplants

The 21,000 square-foot bio-secure building will be home to approximately 100 high-health, 'medical-grade' pigs. Pancreatic islet cells from those pathogen-free pigs will be used for transplantation into diabetes patients in clinical trials. There are very few buildings of this kind in the world.

"We had a favorable response from the FDA on the design and operations of this building," said Dr. Henk-Jan Schuurman, CEO of Spring Point Project. "Now, our goal is to be ready for clinical trials within three years, and to provide an FDA-approved standard treatment soon thereafter. We are very pleased that the first animals in the facility meet the high-health standards."

"Populating the Islet Resource Facility marks a major milestone in our ability to offer islet transplants to all patients with diabetes who meet medical criteria," said Dr. Bernhard Hering, a world-renowned diabetes expert and Scientific Director of the Diabetes Institute for Immunology & Transplantation at the University of Minnesota, which may run pre-clinical and clinical trials with Spring Point Project. "Human islet cell transplants have reversed diabetes in 90 percent of our recipients. However, the shortage of human donor organs greatly limits the applicability of islet transplants. Pig islets will solve this demand issue and are at the forefront of a far-reaching cure for patients with diabetes."

The demand for high-health pig islets has been significantly heightened since Dr. Hering and his team last March documented their medical milestone in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Medicine – pig islet cell transplantation yielding long-term diabetes reversal in monkeys, opening the path to unprecedented new opportunities for patients with diabetes.

"This is the reason Spring Point Project was established," said Tom Cartier, president and chairman on the board of Spring Point Project. "The Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation was among the first to come on board to support our activities. We also appreciate the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for their substantial support of the research team at the University of Minnesota Diabetes Institute for Immunology and Transplantation. We're moving closer to a cure for diabetes as a result of everyone's efforts."

An experienced team at Spring Point Project under leadership of Dr. Schuurman, and working with geneticist Dr. Scott Fahrenkrug of the University of Minnesota, is overseeing the breeding of the animals for safety and high islet production in the facility.

The Hutterian Brethren, a religious farming community in South Dakota, is contributing its expertise with the overseeing and care of the animals.

"The focused efforts in an unique partnership combining top-class expertise in all disciplines needed is the best safeguard for success and based DRWF's decision for funding," commented W. Michael Gretschel, volunteer president of the Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation. "We will provide the world new hope for transplants that will relieve patients from the day-to-day burdens of insulin administration and threats of high and low blood sugars that cause deadly complications—from blindness to heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure."

henk schuurman | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: Diabetes Facility high-health islet transplants

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>