Genzyme and Osiris Therapeutics' new stem cell therapy for type 1 diabetes has demonstrated promise in a new clinical study.
Osiris has provided an update on a first-of-its-kind study, conducted in partnership with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which aims to evaluate whether the Prochymal therapy is able to slow progression of the disease.
Prochymal uses a formulation of adult mesenchymal stem cells by preventing the body's immune system from destroying insulin-producing islet cells, thus helping to control inflammation, promote tissue regeneration and prevent scar formation.
An interim assessment of the new trial showed that systemic infusions of the treatment were well-tolerated, while a trend towards fewer hypoglycaemic events for patients was noted.
Dr Jay Skyler, professor of medicine and deputy director of the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said: "The ability to safely use stem cells from unrelated donors is an important finding of this study and provides new possibilities for further development of stem cell therapies for type 1 diabetes."
Genzyme is one of the largest biotechnology companies in the world, employing around 10,000 people, and was purchased by Sanofi last year.