Chinese Scientists Achieve World's First Diabetes Cure Using Cell Therapy: Report


A team of Chinese scientists has successfully cured a patient’s diabetes using cell therapy, marking a global first.

What Happened: The patient, who was at high risk of severe diabetes complications, has been insulin-free for 33 months following the treatment, reported the South China Morning Post. The research, led by Yin Hao of Shanghai Changzheng Hospital, was published in the journal Cell Discovery on Apr. 30.

Yin said that the patient’s pancreatic islet function was effectively restored, thanks to the innovative approach. The team used the patient’s own peripheral blood mononuclear cells, which were reprogrammed into “seed cells” and then used to regenerate pancreatic islet tissue in a controlled environment.

"I think this study represents an important advance in the field of cell therapy for diabetes," Timothy Kieffer, a professor in the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences at the University of British Columbia in Canada said.

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Why It Matters: Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the body’s ability to convert food into energy. The breakthrough in cell therapy offers hope for the millions of people worldwide who suffer from this disease. The treatment could potentially prevent serious complications such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease, which are common in diabetic patients.

Yin’s research is particularly significant for China, where a quarter of the global diabetic population resides, placing a significant strain on the country’s healthcare system. The successful treatment of this patient could pave the way for more extensive studies and potentially revolutionize diabetes treatment worldwide.

The success of this cell therapy treatment in China comes at a time when the global diabetes market is undergoing significant changes. Companies like Eli Lilly and Co are exploring new insulin dosing options, while Novo Nordisk is facing supply chain challenges for its popular diabetes drug, Ozempic, in Germany.

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This story was generated using Benzinga Neuro and edited by Kaustubh Bagalkote

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