An Israeli biopharma company may have just created a possible cure for Type-1 Diabetes. Betalin Therapeutics, winner of the annual international MIXiii Biomed 2017 pharma startup competition, has made a micro-pancreas that performs the insulin secreting functions of a healthy non-diabetic pancreas. Type1-diabetes is an autoimmune disease that inhibits the pancreas from carrying out its proper functions in releasing insulin. Rather than transplanting cells that produce insulin to combat this form of diabetes, Betalin Therapeutics has chosen to embark on a more innovative approach. The biopharma company created a lab-built “engineered micro-pancreas” (EMP) made out of harvested islet cells supported by Betalin’s own technology that creates a biological microenvironment for the cells.
The Israeli company tested the EMP on mice a year ago by completely destroying insulin-producing cells in the lab rodents and implanting in the animals micro-pancreas. Over the course of the three months in which the mice carried the bioartifical pancreas, it proved to be a successful regulator of glucose. Professor Eduardo Mitrani of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and also the mind behind this innovative idea, further elaborated on the condition of the mice, “They were cured of advanced stages of severe diabetes.” The possibility of this potential medical breakthrough to come into fruition for human beings necessitates more funding for further clinical trials and testing on humans.
Texas, like Israel, is a leader in the realm of biomedical technology and research. For example, the Texas Biomedical Research Institute located in San Antonio, TX is a world-renown independent research institution that is dedicated to improving human health through advanced research in many areas, one of those being diabetes. As the Institute states on its site, “Texas Biomedical Research Institute aims to unravel the mysteries of chronic and infectious diseases through innovative thinking, creative problem solving and cutting edge technologies.” Hence, this shared thinking in “out of the box” approaches to cure diseases would make the institute a great potential partner to collaborate with Israeli biomedical companies such as Betalin Therapeutics to test breakthrough ideas such as the micro-pancreas in pursuit of finding
cures to many other kinds of complicated diseases.
· Breakthrough Story on Haaretz: http://www.haaretz.com/science-and-health/1.794052
· Texas Biomedical Institute “About” Page: https://www.txbiomed.org/about/
· TX Biomed. Info. Page on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/texas-biomedical-research-institute
· Explanation of Betalin’s solution: http://www.betalintherapeutics.com/our-solution.html