Taking GMP Grade Perivascular Mesenchymal Stromal Cells to First-in-Man Clinical Trials

Transplanting pancreatic islets to cure diabetes

islet transplantation
Dual immunostaining of islet transplantation; Green – glucagon; red - insulin

Research Methods and Objectives

Islet transplantation, where islets from donor pancreases are transplanted into the liver of patients with Type 1 diabetes, has the potential to cure Type 1 diabetes. However islets from up to 3 donor pancreases may be required for each patient because islets “engraft” or form blood vessels very poorly within the liver they are transplanted into. Working with Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, who have manufactured human umbilical cord perivascular mesenchymal stromal cells (HUCPVC) to GMP grade, we have demonstrated that when the HUCPVCs are co-transplanted with islets into diabetic mice, they promote engraftment of islets, improving blood glucose control as compared with transplantation of islets alone. This means that, potentially, islets from one donor pancreas may be used in the future to cure diabetes, enabling more patients to be transplanted. Our aim is to understand further how HUCPVCs improve islet engraftment and take these cells into first-in-man clinical trials.

islet transplantation image
Vessel assessment post islet transplantation

Principal Investigator, Co-Investigators, Other researchers

Principal Investigators: Shareen Forbes - University of Edinburgh and John DM Campbell – Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service

Collaborators: Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service

Team members involved in this programme: Paul Borgoyne, June Noble, Gary Borthwick, Andrew Bond, Kay Samuel, Kayleigh Thirlwell, Alisdair Fraser


Chief Scientist Office