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Pig-Cell Implants Gain Approval (New Zealand)

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

New Zealand health officials have given their approval for researchers to begin human testing of a new type of diabetes treatment. As part of the proposed treatment, scientists would inject pig-cells, specially engineered to produce insulin, into the abdomen of type-1 diabetes patients. Researchers hope the pig-cells would provide enough insulin to reduce the need for patients to consistently inject themselves with synthetic insulin. Initially the government was reluctant to approve this treatment, pioneered by Auckland Prof. Bob Elliot, because it was concerned it would increase the risk of pig-viruses being transferred to humans. Since officials have now been convinced of its safety, injections of Living Cell Technologies' DiabeCellB pig-cell transplants, will begin for eight type-1 diabetics at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland. (Click here for more
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