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As one of the most important non-communicable diseases of our time, diabetes affects both young and old, irrespective of gender or ethnicity. Beta-Cell’s cell replacement therapy aims for a durable cure of type 1 diabetes mellitus.
A MODERN-DAY EPIDEMIC
The worldwide increase in the number of diagnosed patients takes on epidemic proportions. According to International Diabetes Federation estimates, the global number of diabetes patients has increased from 108 million in 1982 to 415 million in 2015 with a further increase predicted to reach 642 million patients in 2040.
AT RISK FOR DETRIMENTAL CONSEQUENCES
Diabetes patients face higher risks for serious complications such as kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, cardiovascular disease, foot ulcers, coma. The global number of deaths directly related to diabetes is estimated at 1.5 million every year. The societal impact is also significant as the yearly healthcare cost of managing the disease is currently over $ 800 billion worldwide.
URGENT NEED FOR CURE
When diagnosed under age 40, most patients are dependent on daily insulin injections to reduce episodes of abnormally high blood glucose levels that lead to complications. In Europe and the United States, more than 3,6 million exhibit this type 1 form of the disease which is caused by a major loss in insulin-producing beta cells. Its incidence has increased over the last 20 years, in particular in children under age 10. Treatment with insulin is beneficial but does not avoid the personal, medical and societal burden. This form represents the most urgent need for a durable cure.
BETA CELL REPLACEMENT
Human donor organs have been used to replace the lost beta cells in type 1 patients that were most difficult to control with insulin injections. Their number and average quality are however insufficient to develop a cure, starting with the most severe cases and progressively expanding to larger numbers. BetaGraft can overcome these limitations.