Attended Events 

DRIVE Month 22 General Assembly

DRIVE held it's month 22 General Assembly meeting from March 23-24th 2017 at one of the oldest Universities in Europe, Utrecht University, Netherlands. The main focus of the meeting was...(read more)

Safeguarding the delivery of pancreatic islets for the treatment of diabetes

DRIVE aims to improve pancreatic islet transplant therapy for diabetes mellitus, a chronic disease characterised by high blood sugar due to a shortage of insulin. Transplant of insulin-producing pancreatic islets restores tight natural control of blood sugar, eliminating the need for multiple daily injections of insulin, that ultimately affect patient’s quality of life.

Despite its proven effectiveness among current treatments for diabetes, this therapy, which involves infusing purified human pancreatic islets from donor pancreases into the patient’s liver, suffers from poor survival and engraftment of transplanted islets in the hostile liver environment. As a result, multiple donor pancreases are necessary for a successful islet transplant, which limits the use of this therapy to a small percentage of “brittle” type 1 patients for whom daily insulin injections are not sufficient to control their diabetes.

Thanks to the combined use of an injectable gel (“β-Gel”) acting as a protective matrix for the islets and of an innovative drug delivery system (“β-Shell”) for tuneable and localised release of immunosuppressive/anti-inflammatory drugs, DRIVE aims to dramatically improve the survival and engraftment rate of transplanted islets, thereby widening the application of islet transplant therapy to more insulin-dependent diabetes patients (T1D and T2D).

DRIVE will also develop a minimally invasive injection catheter (“β-Cath”) and perform a series of pre-clinical studies on the integrated β-Gel/β-Shell/β-Cath system to assess its efficacy in vivo.

DRIVE is a 4-year project to be carried out by 14 European partners, coordinated by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).

     This project has received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Grant agreement No 645991