Oxygenation of implanted insulin secreting cells
Giner Life Sciences was spun out from Giner Inc. in 2017 with the goal of rapidly transitioning our bioartificial organ technology to the clinic.
The Need: Implantation of tissues, whether obtained through organ donation or grown in the laboratory, requires suppression of the immune system for the duration of treatment, generally for the rest of the patient’s life. Immunosuppressive therapy is expensive and carries a serious risk of infection. Inconsistency in treatment can lead to organ rejection.
Tissues may be sequestered in a membrane-bound capsule to protect them from the immune system but cellular performance and viability is impaired by a lack of oxygen.
The Solution: Giner Life Sciences is developing a system that uses an implantable electrochemical oxygen generator (iEOG) to provide oxygen directly to a membrane-bound capsule. Small amounts of water are harvested from the body where it is “split” electrochemically to make oxygen. The oxygen is delivered to an integrated cell capsule.
Giner Life Science is developing technology for oxygenation of implanted insulin secreting cells. The innovation is an oxygen delivery technology for use with a fully-implanted Type I Diabetes (T1D) cell therapy treatment employing immune-isolation capsule technology for allogenic pancreatic islets or stem-cell derived pancreatic islet-like cell clusters.
The promise of islet capsules is fully natural, long term insulin regulation without the need for any immuno-suppression. However, islet capsules have not yet fulfilled this promise. The key barrier is that in order to get sufficient islets into a manageably-sized capsule to deliver insulin for an average-sized human, the islets have to be densely packed. When islets are densely packed into a small capsule, the islets cannot get sufficient oxygen to enable them to function or even survive. The technology is an attachment of a miniature, implantable oxygen generator to the islet capsule which has demonstrated that with non-stop oxygen supply, an islet-filled capsule will provide completely natural blood glucose regulation.
Substitute technologies suffer from hypoxia risk or involve percutaneous injections of oxygen. Giner’s platform is a result of substantial collaboration with NIH, industry and academic stakeholders, and is the only current T1D treatment in development that holds the promise for a compact, effective, convenient and long-lived implant for natural blood glucose control.