Vertex & ViaCyte: A Cure For T1D

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Interesting. I wonder if anything different has really happened yet, I can’t tell for sure from his video.

Of course if they do find “the cure” it’s only going to be available for people under 18 who have severe lows needing emt etc. or something crazy like that. And it will cost $50 million etc.

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Last year I got a big tax refund (the Ontario Disability tax credit rebate) so I invested in Sernova, a company based in London Ontario.
They’re working on a pouch encapsulation system.
I did so because I figured I should “put my money where my interest is” but so far even with my additional support, they haven’t developed a cure.
Oh well, the cure is five years away.

Sooner or later, research and technology will catch up with the disease. Never give up hope :100:

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I don’t doubt there has been a cure found. My question is whether big pharma will ever release it and lose a zillion-dollar industry.


I’ve been following both these companies for years. This is my 2 cents.

  • They can grow beta cells in bulk
  • They have implanted them in 1-3 humans but also using immunosuppression
  • They are working on pouch devices to protect the beta cells without immunosuppression but they are not yet ready yet
  • We don’t yet know how long the new cells will last months, years, lifetime?
  • They are also working on beta cells that the immune system can’t see, removing the need for a pouch

Diabetes may have multiple causes so its tough to cure or halt disease progress.

I think this is a good path forward because they are replacing beta cells instead of trying to get the body to regrow them. Also they don’t know all the reasons the body is killing/losing its beta cells so this solution just assumes they need to protect them from our own body.

I wouldn’t be an early adopter on this but if they have a solution that’s does not require immunosuppression I would strongly consider it when its ready and approved.

It’s actually really great news they are up to human trials. Many potential cures take 10 years to get to this point so its already pretty far along. Often those cures turn out to only work in animals (mice) so its great this actually works in humans.

Even if it works they need to do larger scale trials to prove it works and is safe. Then they need to have a way to train doctors around the world how to administer the treatment. With millions of patients (T1D & T2D) no one hospital could treat everyone. We need a treatment that any major hospital and be trained to do.

They will also need a way to safely transport the replacement beta cells so they don’t die in transport.

We have years to go to find out how this turns out but as is I’m very encouraged.


Yes, I’ve been hearing “5 years…” for at least 3 decades, but as a medical researcher myself, this is the first I’ve ever been truly excited about the progress, and especially this merger. This is different. This is actually happening. It’s not just empty speculation with no science behind it, like we’ve seen in the past. For the first time ever we have knowledge AND the capability to implement a treatment at the cellular level in such a way that the treatment isn’t worse than the actual disease itself.

But no, we’re not 5 years from a “cure”. If you follow the actual science, they’re not using the word “cure”, if anything they very specifically reference it is a “functional cure”… meaning a treatment that asks very little of the patient, and they’re not saying 5 years either. We’re still in VERY EARLY days and we have no clue what the long-term playout looks like. We don’t know how effective it will be in the broader masses, or how long it will last, or how many evolutions and improvements can be made to make it better. There’s still much research to be done before it ever makes it to the regulatory approval and marketing phases.

What’s not being discussed is the fact that cells have a VERY finite shelf life. We don’t die with the same cells we were born with. Our bodies are always growing, repairing, and replacing cells. Even without the autoimmune attack, we won’t be able to maintain the implanted beta cells for probably more than a few years at first. This is just going to be another evolution in treatment which will need repeated. But it’s a friggin’ awesome advance, nonetheless!


Some more details about the claim that someone was cured of T1D:
Current Research into Cures for Type-1 Diabetes: No One Was Cured Of Type-1 Diabetes in 2021 (blog by Joshua Levy)


I’m a really big fan of that blog for covering clinical trials and future potential cures. I appreciate his ability to consume the trail data and distill it into a more understandable format.

I’m betting they get something viable and working, sell their company or the tech to some big company like Lilly, and then it is never seen or heard from again.

Usually what I say ends up being the opposite of what happens, so here’s to hoping this time works that way as well.


As you all know I was part of the first safety/protocol study with ViaCtye back in 2016.
It was just trying to figure out what they were doing, what worked, what didn’t, different therapies etc.
We were never given enough cells to make insulin, unfortunately. They were just trying to see what was happening to the devices they were using.
It didn’t work and it was back to the drawing board, but they continued the trial but using drugs.
I am a big believer in this “cure”! I do firmly believe the cure will be stem cells. And when I found out ViaCtye was using CRISPER! That was when I started believing maybe I will see a “functional cure” in my lifetime!
And I would line up again for this study if they would have me! I mean just think, even if the trial only gave you a couple months of no diabetes! Just think, no diabetes! And yeah, it would suck to go back to the same old treatment, if it failed but wow, no diabetes no a week would be great!
I think if you worked with these doctors and researchers and engineers, you would see the passion and drive they have to find this cure. These people want this as much as all of us. I remember the director of The Human Trial saying that the people in the ViaCtye lab were in tears as they watched their first devices head out of the lab over to the hospital for the first implantation. They are very dedicated and I think they will make it happen.
I left that trial feeling very confident that the answer was in stem cells but I also left feeling like I would not see it. But now, wow I just might see it before I leave this planet! Hoping and praying that these dedicated professionals will find it. And if they would have my old body to research with for a chance to help change so many peoples lives, I’m in!


I have been a type 1 for 58 years and I am in good health and I have been hearing a cure in 5 years that was 50 years ago, dont give up but do not believe everything you hear, we are in it for the longggggggggggggggggggg haul and here I am 58 years later still waiting for the cure. OH WELL


I met someone about 5-6 years ago in instagram, a type 1 who has been off insulin for several years. He was in a trial in Brazil I think. First they gave them chemotherapy and then stem cells. He does not take any antirejection drugs. He still uses dexcom to monitor bg.

Was he newly diagnosed at the time he participated in the trial? I’ve seen some studies like that with patients that were diagnosed in the 6 weeks before the trial.

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I don’t remember now I think so but I am not sure, I believe he had been diabetic for a while, at least a couple of years or more. So definitely not six weeks before.

The thing that was different in this trial was using chemo therapy before hand and using stem cells to create beta cells, I don’t think it was common then, at least not here. I posted about this at the time so you can search the post.

My guess is the chemotherapy somehow stopped the autoimmune attack. Which is really what needs to be done to have any real cure probably.

I’ve been a T1D for 40 years and the cure has always been ‘5 years away’!

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Do you still have your hopes high on this ViaCyte thing?

Yes, yes I do!!!
I was told way back when, that “there would be a cure in five years!” My parents and I thought, we can do this for five years! We’ve got this! And we waited and we raised money and we did bike-a-thons, walk-a-thons. A cure was out there.
Through my early 20’s I gave up. Depression set in. Life wasn’t fun anymore.
Thankfully I got help and realized there are many things diabetes has done for me, that has made me a better person. (You should search here for things we like about diabetes and yes there is a hate one also).
The stem cell study I did wasn’t the greatest. My biggest frustration was no one got enough cells to even produce enough insulin to do anything. But we had to do some nasty tests and of course the five surgeries weren’t fun.
Now that the 2 companies have come together and CRISPER is in the works, I think I will happen. I would in a heartbeat sign up again if they are using the CRISPER technique!
After I finished up the stem cell study, I felt this was the answer. So darn cool that we can now make cells that are able to make insulin! But I also felt it was going to be a long time.
With CRISPER in the mix, I think it might be sooner.
And the other thing that is always floating around my head is something I was told early on. If you take care of your diabetes and the cure happens, you will have a better shot at that cure. I guess it’s the same mindset they have to use for transplant patients. Who has the best chance of making it. So I continue to do the best I can so when it happens, I could get in line!
Really not sure if I will see it but the changes I have seen in diabetes care in the last 20 years is moving much, much faster than it did in the first 30 years.

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Let’s just hope they don’t get pressured into selling to any of the big pharma companies, especially the ones that specialize in diabetes meds/equipment. Just like any other company looking for a cure that got bought out, they will disappear into nothingness and any research hidden away in company vaults kept safe with all their profits from there not being a cure.

I had volunteered for viacyte but I backed out.
The first totally encapsulated cells didn’t work out because the cells all died.
So they were offering implants that were open where blood vessels would grow into the implants.
Which means immune suppression. And Covid was raging so I backed out.
Also as it was described they would put all these implants in, some super small and some as large as a deck of playing cards, but they will be removed even if they are making insulin because they want to study them.
If they offered me to keep them , I might have stuck with it, but as it was offered, it was not worth going forward.
I hope they learn from it and come up with a viable product.

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