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Beta cell programming for treatment of diabetes

Objective

Diabetes is a frequent chronic disease that reduces quality of life and increases risks for life-threatening complications. Its onset in younger patients is caused by massive losses in insulin-producing beta cells. Regenerating a functional beta cell mass is thus a major goal in biomedicine and in society. Beta cell grafts prepared from human pancreases can cure the disease but development of this form of beta cell therapy is hindered by shortage in donor organs. Our consortium with leading teams in molecul ar, developmental and functional biology has worked out an integrated program to generate insulin-producing beta cells in therapeutic quantities and established interactions to translate knowledge to associated bioindustry and multicenter clinical trials, as well as to society. Nature's biologic program to develop and preserve a functional beta cell mass throughout life is taken as platform for directing strategies towards laboratory production of a therapeutic beta cell mass. Beta cells will be derived fro m embryonic stem cells and from transdifferentiating liver, intestinal and pancreatic exocrine cells. Functional genomics will be used to compare phenotypes of beta cells from new sources with those isolated from the pancreas. This analysis will direct fur ther research and judge on the start of preclinical testing. It will also generate new tools and quality control criteria that will allow standardization of ongoing trials and adjustments in graft biology to increase its long-term survival and function in patients. The consortium considers its plan realistic in its perspective to help develop a cure for diabetes by (re)programming cells for beta cell therapy.

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Coordinator

VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT BRUSSEL

Address

Pleinlaan 2
Brussels

Belgium

Participants (23)

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CHRISTIAN DE DUVE INSTITUTE OF CELLULAR PATHOLOGY

Belgium

UNIVERSITY OF COPENHAGEN

Denmark

TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY

Israel

UNIVERSITAT AUTONOMA DE BARCELONA

Spain

LUND UNIVERSITY

Sweden

UNIVERSITY OF BATH

United Kingdom

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

United Kingdom

JDRF CENTER FOR BETA CELL THERAPY IN DIABETES VZW

Belgium

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE

France

INSTITUT D'INVESTIGACIONS BIOMEDIQUES AUGUST PI I SUNYER

Spain

BETA-CELL NV

Belgium

THROMB-X NV

Belgium

NOVO NORDISK A/S

Denmark

CELLARTIS

Sweden

COPENHAGEN UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL RIGSHOSPITALET

Denmark

UNIVERSITAIR ZIEKENHUIS BRUSSEL

Belgium

THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM

Israel

CENTRE EUROPÉEN DE RECHERCHE EN BIOLOGIE ET MÉDECINE

France

ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE

Switzerland

FACULTÉ DE MEDECINE, UNIVERSITÉ DE GENÈVE

Switzerland

INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA SANTÉ ET DE LA RECHERCHE MÉDICALE

France

UNIVERSITY OF LIÈGE

Belgium

UNIVERSITÀ DEGLI STUDI DI PERUGIA

Italy

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 512145

  • Start date

    1 April 2005

  • End date

    31 March 2010

Funded under:

FP6-LIFESCIHEALTH

  • Overall budget:

    € 26 243 641

  • EU contribution

    € 11 788 000

Coordinated by:

VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT BRUSSEL

Belgium