Diabetes affects 382 million people worldwide, causing an estimated 5.1 million deaths in 2013 alone. The disease is caused by the autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, and can be reversed by transplanting new clusters of cells (pancreatic islet transplant therapy).
DRIVE is a European Union-funded project (grant nr. 645991) to improve the success of pancreatic islet transplant therapy. The DRIVE consortium aims to create new gels and capsules to protect the newly-transplanted islets, reducing the number of donor pancreases needed for the therapy.
As part of the DRIVE consortium, Aurum Laboratories developed and validated a streptomycin-induced experimental model for diabetes
Aurum developed a clinically-reflective model for islet transplantation in two different sites: i) Fetal anterior abdominal wall and ii) omental bursa. The swine model ensure that ATMP device are subjected to the same mechanical stress they would be subjected to in humans. At the same time, implantation sites ensure maximum vascularization to assess the efficacy of diabtes-reversing implants.