ViaCyte and Gore enter next phase in bid to cure type 1 diabetes

Aug. 5, 2020

ViaCyte, a regenerative medicine company, has shown that its encapsulated cell therapy products can produce insulin in diabetic patients. But the encapsulated product faces a major challenge once implanted under the skin: They can trigger a foreign-body response, which walls off the implant from the body and impacts survival of the cells inside. 

Now, ViaCyte and W. L. Gore & Associates, a materials sciences company, have announced that they are strengthening their ongoing collaboration and that a novel membrane created by Gore can mitigate the foreign body response. The companies will advance ViaCyte’s PEC-Encap candidate with Gore's novel membrane in clinical trials. 

“Tapping into Gore’s world-class materials science and medical device expertise, new membrane technology was developed that appears to allow successful engraftment and beta cell proliferation, while minimizing the host foreign body response,” said Paul Laikind, president and CEO of ViaCyte. 

Under the new agreement, Gore will manufacture and supply ViaCyte with its novel membrane technology and continue to collaborate with ViaCyte to optimize its design.

So far, ViaCyte is the only company with a stem-cell derived islet replacement candidate that has been shown to produce insulin in patients with type 1 diabetes. 

Read the press release.