May 20, 2024 | 0 comments

If you read our story (BRAXTON’S TURN), you know that in 2012, I dedicated my (fictional) life to finding the cure for Type 1 diabetes after my twelve-year-old son, Luke, was diagnosed.

My research took me down the road of advocating for stem cell research, which in 2012 offered the research community the most promising avenue for a cure. I learned all there was to learn about pluripotent stem cells. These cells, produced either in the human body or in a lab four to five days after insemination (natural or artificial), had the ability to be gene-edited into various cell types that could then be applied as a therapeutic, or better yet a cure, for variety of diseases or conditions.

In the case of Type 1 diabetics, this therapy involved editing these cells into functioning, insulin- producing pancreatic cells. In 2012, this therapy was new and untested, and I made it my mission to advocate for the necessary funding to test the hypothesis. And if you read our story, you know I ran into tremendous headwinds and my progress was slow.

But it is now 2022 in your world and yesterday two companies, ViaCyte and CRISPR Therapeutics announced they have dosed their first patient in Canada where clinical trials were approved last November. The therapy is labeled VCTX210.

“VCTX210 is an investigational, allogeneic, gene-edited, stem cell-derived product developed in collaboration by applying CRISPR Therapeutics’ gene-editing technology to ViaCyte’s proprietary stem cell capabilities for the generation of pancreatic cells designed to evade recognition by the immune system. This immune-evasive cell replacement therapy is designed to enable patients to produce their own insulin.”

This potential cure is what I dreamed about in 2012 and drove me and my family down the path we journeyed from 2012 to 2016.

And today, the cure for Type 1 Diabetes is closer to reality.

If in my world I had anything to do with it, I’m grateful.