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US and UK collaboration on Type 1 Diabetes with stem cellsThe North-east England Stem Cell Institute (NESCI), including Durham and Newcastle Universities, the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and other partners is an interdisciplinary collaboration to convert stem cell research and technologies into cost-effective, ethical health solutions with the aim of ameliorating degenerative diseases, the effects of ageing and serious injury. Amongst other laboratory equipment they have three controlled rate freezers manufactured by Planer of Sunbury,UK. On June I 2007 they issued the following:

PRESS RELEASE:- Transatlantic team bring treating Type 1 Diabetes a step closer. Human tissue producing insulin has been created from Cord Blood Stem Cells. The tissue, which is destroyed in Type 1 Diabetes was developed by the same transatlantic team that were the world’s first to discover “embryonic-like” cells in cord blood and also first to produce liver tissue from the same cells. The News, released this week in the June issue of scientific journal Cell Proliferation, marks 4 years of research and a successful collaboration between teams led by Professor Colin McGuckin at the Newcastle Centre for Cord Blood, Newcastle University and Professor Larry Denner at the Stark Diabetes Center, University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB).

“The success of this work shows the importance of developing stem cell technologies on a global scale. This is an essential move towards helping diabetic patients, but it is just one link in the chain that will be needed”, said Professor McGuckin, who is based at the North East England Stem Cell Institute (NESCI). He added: “By combining our technologies, I believe that Diabetes may be one of the successful treatments that stem cell therapy can contribute to”. Newcastle co-author in the study, Dr Nico Forraz, said “With over 120 million children born every year, cord blood stem cells will be the leader in developing stem cell therapy for patients across the world. Over 85 conditions can already be treated with cord blood. Today we are a step closer to adding Type 1 Diabetes to this list”. The study titled “Directed Engineering of umbilical cord blood stem cells to produce C-peptide and Insulin”, details the possibilities for producing pancreatic tissue, which not only could be useful for diabetes patients, but also other patients with pancreatic disease. Professor McGuckin credited the UTMB USA group for their contribution noting: “Galveston has a long history in medical breakthroughs and a strong commitment to medical research training”. ENDS:

Enquiries for Newcastle University: Press Office Tel + 44 (0) 191 222 5893

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