Vertex snaps up company working on cure for Type 1 diabetes

Sept. 4, 2019

Vertex Pharmaceuticals announced this week that it is buying Semma Therapeutics for $950 million in cash.

Massachusetts-based Semma specializes in stem cell therapies, and has aroused some hype over its current efforts to cure type 1 diabetes. According to the companies, Semma has already made progress on that front by producing large quantities of functional human pancreatic beta cells that restore insulin secretion and ameliorating hypoglycemia in animal models. Semma says it also has a novel device that protects the cells from the immune system, creating a treatment that can last without ongoing immunosuppressive therapy.

The CEO of Vertex, a rare disease specialist, said the company is excited to work with the “talented scientists at Semma to build on their significant progress toward providing effective and potentially curative cell therapy options for people living with type 1 diabetes.” 

Read the press release.