15-Apr-2016 - Sanford Health

Type 1 diabetes cell therapy trial enrolls first patient

A clinical trial studying the body's ability to type fight 1 diabetes using cell therapy has used the method on its first participant. "The Sanford Project: T-Rex Study" is a collaborative study between Sanford Health and Caladrius Biosciences, Inc., for adolescents with newly onset type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease characterized by a loss of insulin-producing beta cells, is the focus of The Sanford Project, a cornerstone research initiative at Sanford Research.

Investigators in this trial are studying the effectiveness of cell therapy with expanded regulatory T cells, or Treg cells, to treat type 1 diabetes. Treg cells regulate the body's immune system. A participant's own Treg cells are extracted from the body, purified and multiplied and returned to blood circulation. Researchers are monitoring if beta cells and insulin production can be preserved through this type of immunotherapy.

"The enrollment of the first patient in The Sanford Project: T-Rex Study demonstrates Sanford's commitment to bringing cutting-edge research and next generation treatments to our region." said Kurt Griffin, Ph.D., M.D., director of clinical trials for The Sanford Project. "Leveraging the body's own natural mechanisms is a particularly appealing approach."

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