A cure for diabetes is just a few years away, according to a group of Israeli scientists and researchers.
Betalin Therapeutics has developed what it calls "the world's first Engineered Micro Pancreas (EMP)," using pig-lung tissue and insulin-secreting cells. The company aims to replace insulin-therapy by providing the body with a natural way to measure and regulate blood-sugar levels.
A common problem with organ transplants is rejection by the body of the recipient. To address this issue, Betalin Therapeutics signed a licensing agreement with the Hebrew University for the use of cannabis extracted molecules to ensure the patient's body does not reject the new pancreas.
Animal trials have already been completed. Human trials are expected to begin next year.
Betalin Therapeutics Dr. Nikolai Kunicher told the Jerusalem Post that "today, you only have ways to manage the disease. This is a cure. The diabetic pancreas has lost the function of secreting insulin and we give it back. The patient should never have to inject insulin into his body again.”
Prof. Eduardo Mitrani of Hebrew University's Faculty of Science, who developed the technology used by Betalin Therapeutics, explained how the EMP is different from other organ transplants.
"The pancreas is unique in that it functions as a complete autonomous organ, not as single cells, and can therefore be located anywhere in the body," prof. Mitrani said.