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A bioartificial pancreas to treat type 1 diabetes: optimization of cell survival and function in preclinical and clinical phases

Coordinator: Severine SIGRIST
Project Number: 305746
EC contribution: € 5,469,603.20
Project website: http://defymed.com/biosid/

MAILPAN (MAcroencapsulation of PANcreatic Islets) is a prototype of bioartificial pancreas usable in the human designed to treat type 1 diabetic patients. The prototype was developed along different stages since 1996 and led to the creation of the SME called Defymed in 2011. Next step is now to bring the prototype to the pre-clinical and clinical phases necessary to the ensuing commercialization of MAILPAN whose ultimate goal is to improve the life of at least 20 million persons in the world while providing positive effects on healthcare management and expenses, the environment and the competitiveness of the biomaterials industry.

In order to reach this goal, CeeD and Defymed gathered a consortium made of seven partners from academia, clinical/public health research sector and industry/SMEs from three different European countries –Belgium, France and UK. The expertise gathered include encapsulation techniques, islet isolation, cell engineering, islet transplantation, islet preconditioning, surgical implantation, and medium formulation; items that are complementary and necessary to the implementation of the present project proposal.

The project proposal of a 36-month duration intends to bring the most modern and up to date improvements that the bioartificial pancreas still needs and can receive such as to enhance cells survival inside the device by formulating a new adapted cell culture medium, to further lower the rejection risk by studying the biocompatibility and anti-inflammatory mechanisms, to test the prototype in primates, and to validate its further use in humans. Safety, bio-compatibility and interoperability of MAILPAN device combined to the islets/pseudo-islets, will be assessed, in respect to the applied regulatory directives.

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