Immunologically Privileged Cells and Uses Thereof

Description: A major, very promising avenue of investigation for treatment of diabetes is that of islet cell transplantation. A variety of strategies are under investigation for the introduction into diabetic patients of functioning pancreatic islet cells, which can produce insulin and overcome the diabetic phenotype. Although some results have been encouraging, islet transplantation has only recently begun to be explored in human clinical trials. Problems encountered to date relate to the insufficient supply of human islet cells from cadavers, and the need for recipients to take immunosuppressant drugs for their entire lifetime, with the resulting problems of toxicity and side effects such as elevated cholesterol and risk of heart disease. Other avenues involving human stem cells, while intriguing, may be hindered by recent government policies restricting some forms of stem cell research. The present invention potentially overcomes these hurdles through the discovery that a certain adult cell type evades immune mediated attack, and can be used to deliver polypeptides such as insulin to a human patient without fear of autoimmune rejection. Clinical & Commercial Utility: The invention comprises an improved method for treatment of diabetes using cell transplantation. Intermediate lobe pituitary cells can be genetically engineered to express insulin or other proteins in sufficient quantities to overcome the diabetic phenotype in animal models, and can then be implanted into the patient, to deliver these proteins without fear of autoimmune rejection. The use of these cells to express other therapeutically useful proteins is being investigated, and in general, the cells have several potential advantages over neuroendocrine cell types, including increased viability and better expression of insulin.
Joslin Diabetes Center is the owner of U.S. Patent Number 7,033,585 claiming this invention.

Type of Offer: Licensing

« More Medical Patents

Share on      

CrowdSell Your Patent