Humacyte (Nasdaq:HUMA) and JDRF announced today that they entered into a collaboration to develop a biovascular pancreas (BVP).
The collaboration aims to advance the development of Humacyte’s BVP product candidate for treating type 1 diabetes. Humacyte designed its BVP to deliver insulin-producing islets using its investigational, tissue-engineered blood vessel. The company calls it the Human Acellular Vessel (HAV).
Under the agreement, JDRF plans to provide Humacyte with funding to support the development and testing of the BVP.
“We are proud to be collaborating with JDRF, one of the leading organizations in the world focused on T1D research,” said Dr. Laura Niklason, founder and CEO of Humacyte. “Humacyte’s HAV technology, combined with insulin-producing islets, may constitute a groundbreaking development in the treatment of T1D in the future.
“Successful development of the BVP could improve the lives of millions of patients, and their families, who are suffering with this chronic and debilitating disease.”
Humacyte said the BVP could enable the delivery and survival of insulin-producing islets inside the body. The company’s bioengineered HAV acts as a “carrier” for the delivery of the islets. This technology could overcome many of the hurdles currently associated with implanting islets in diabetic patients, Humacyte said.
If successful, the platform could increase the effectiveness of treating type 1 diabetes patients with islet cells.
“JDRF is committed to supporting the development of cell replacement therapies that could one day offer cures for type 1 diabetes,” said Esther Latres, JDRF VP of research. “Through the successful replacement of lost or damaged insulin-producing cells, Humacyte’s Biovascular Pancreas has the potential to solve roadblocks in the delivery of insulin-producing cells, and change the lives of those living with the disease.
“We’re excited to support the ongoing development of this technology.”