French biotech developer Defymed said today that it is partnering with the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation to fund studies of the company’s Mailpan bioartifical pancreas.
The Mailpan device is designed to be implanted in the abdomen, taking the shape of a pouch containing insulin-secreting cells to restore normal and continuous insulin production in diabetic patients.
“JDRF is known as the number-one worldwide public foundation fighting type 1 diabetes. We are more than honored to be working with them for the necessary pre-clinical tests before starting the Mailpan clinical phase. More than financial support, JRDF brings to us considerable visibility within the U.S. market and also provides strategic support in regards to finding a solution to encapsulating insulin-secreting cells to derive the benefits offered by this therapy to patients suffering from type 1 diabetes,” CEO Dr. Séverine Sigrist said in a press release.
The company is slated to test the immunoprotection properties of the Mailpan device, which is designed to encapsulate insulin-secreting cells between membranes that are impermeable to the immune system but permeable for oxygen, nutrient, glucose and insulin transfer, the company said.
Defymed said the support will aid it in moving forward to clinical trials in humans, with its next project estimated to take up to 24 months to collect data on the immunoprotection properties of the device and to confirm previously collected functionality and safety data.
“JDRF is excited to announce its support of Defymed as it seeks preclinical validation of its Mailpan device, a project which is well aligned with JDRF’s Beta Cell Replacement strategy. By funding this type of research, we firmly believe we are moving one step closer to our goal of creating a world without type 1 diabetes,” CEO Derek Rapp said in prepared remarks.