Insulin-producing islets from donated pancreases to replace the function that was lost when the patient developed type 1 diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes affects approximately 8.4 million people worldwide (2021), causing a deficiency in insulin production by the pancreas. While there is currently no cure, treatment typically involves insulin administration through injections or pumps, along with lifestyle modifications and additional medications.
- A significant development emerged in late June 2023 with the FDA approving a new therapy for type 1 diabetes called Lantidra. This groundbreaking treatment is the first allogeneic pancreatic islet cellular therapy derived from deceased donor pancreatic cells.
- Two studies assessing its safety and efficacy demonstrated that 21 participants who received Lantidra did not require insulin for over a year, with 12 individuals remaining insulin-free for up to 5 years, and 9 participants for more than 5 years.
- Lantidra is designed to assist individuals with type 1 diabetes who struggle to maintain healthy blood sugar levels despite intensive management. It involves isolating insulin-producing islets from the donated pancreas, purifying them, and infusing them into the recipient’s liver via the portal vein to replace the function that was lost when the patient developed type 1 diabetes.
- Although Lantidra showcased promising results, some side effects were reported, including nausea, fatigue, anemia, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Additionally, the majority of participants experienced serious adverse reactions related to the infusion procedure and the use of immunosuppressive medications necessary for the islet cells’ functionality.