Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Clinical Trials

Nanotherapy For Immunosuppression May Lead to Diabetes Treatment

The technology targets the drug to act on the antigen presenting cells of the immune system, rather than T cells.

Nanotherapy For Immunosuppression May Lead to Diabetes Treatment

Researchers at Northwestern University developed a nanoparticle delivery system for a common immunosuppressant drug that increases the potential of pancreatic islet transplantation as a viable long-term treatment for Type I diabetes. The technology targets the drug to act on the antigen presenting cells of the immune system, rather than T cells. This results in a more selective immunosuppression with fewer side-effects and better long-term viability for transplanted islets, which are typically attacked and destroyed by the immune system. The researchers hope that the technology could pave the way for islet transplantation as a viable treatment, but also enhance the potential to transplant other tissues and organs.

At present, Type I diabetes requires regular measurements of blood glucose and insulin injections. Even with more advanced techniques, such as insulin pumps, there is still a lifelong burden on such patients. Pancreatic islet transplantation could change that by providing long-term control of blood glucose levels, but the technique is still hampered by immune rejection of the transplanted tissue.

Common immunosuppressants, such as rapamycin, don’t currently work to protect the islets adequately, at least at safe doses. The side-effects of such drugs can be difficult to live with, including reduced immune protection against infections such as COVID-19. “To avoid the broad effects of rapamycin during treatment, the drug is typically given at low dosages and via specific routes of administration, mainly orally,” said Evan Scott, a researcher involved in the study. “But in the case of a transplant, you have to give enough rapamycin to systemically suppress T cells, which can have significant side effects like hair loss, mouth sores and an overall weakened immune system.”

To address this, the Northwestern University researchers used nanoparticles to specifically target rapamycin to antigen presenting cells of the immune system, rather than the T cells it usually affects. This results in a more controlled immunosuppression that appears to balance protection for transplanted pancreatic islets with a reasonable safety profile.

“We wondered, can rapamycin be re-engineered to avoid non-specific suppression of T cells and instead stimulate a tolerogenic pathway by delivering the drug to different types of immune cells?” said Scott. “By changing the cell types that are targeted, we actually changed the way that immunosuppression was achieved.”

So far, the researchers tested the technique in diabetic mice that had received a pancreatic islet transplant. Strikingly, the mice demonstrated minimal side-effects, but suffered no diabetes during the 100 day experiment, suggesting the treatment worked to protect the islets.

Seen on Medgadget: Article Link

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest News

Exclusives

IoT is transforming healthcare through wearables, SaMD, and AI. MedTech needs strong branding for the efficiency and cost savings this will provide.

Digital Health

The lack of standardization is a huge problem in the diagnosis and tracking of neurological disorders: because they are so complex and often slow...

FDA

System creates 3D models of the heart with unprecedented anatomical details, allowing physicians to better plan and personalize therapeutic interventions

FDA

Linear Health Sciences has received U.S. FDA clearance and Health Canada approval of its Orchid SRV, a tension-activated breakaway safety release valve designed to reduce the...

You May Also Like

Exclusives

Plug “digital healthcare solutions” into Google, and the results are clear: digital tools have taken the healthcare industry by storm. Innovators across the HealthTech...

Exclusives

PRIA clients are provided a high-touch, white-glove service to support their patient access services.

Exclusives

In Delray Beach, Florida, an emerging biopharma company, Cyrano Therapeutics, is planning a clinical trial using approved theophylline via a new intranasal pathway of...

Exclusives

The sky’s the limit for HealthTech PR and looking past traditional strategies to nontraditional avenues for engagement will allow agencies to stand out.