Reshma Kewalramani, Vertex CEO (Barry Chin/Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Ver­tex heads to the clin­ic with a next-gen stem cell can­di­date for type 1 di­a­betes

Ver­tex will start hu­man test­ing of a new-and-im­proved ver­sion of its stem cell ther­a­py for type 1 di­a­betes.

Reg­u­la­tors cleared Ver­tex’s IND for its stem cell-de­rived pan­cre­at­ic islet cell ther­a­py VX-264 in type 1 di­a­betes, the com­pa­ny an­nounced Thurs­day.

While the new can­di­date us­es the same islet cells as VX-880, Ver­tex’s orig­i­nal stem cell pro­gram for di­a­betes, it al­so makes use of an im­muno­pro­tec­tive de­vice that po­ten­tial­ly elim­i­nates the need for im­muno­sup­pres­sion. Pa­tients who take im­muno­sup­pres­sants may face a range of side ef­fects, in­clud­ing an in­creased risk of in­fec­tion. The de­vice used in this pro­gram was in­vent­ed by Sem­ma Ther­a­peu­tics, which was ac­quired by Ver­tex in 2019, and fur­ther de­vel­oped at Ver­tex, ac­cord­ing to a spokesper­son.

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