The TheraCyte™ system for encapsulating and transplanting cells is a thin membrane-bound polymeric chamber, shown in the adjacent figure. It is fabricated from biocompatible membranes, which protect allogeneic cells from rejection by the recipient and when implanted subcutaneously, induce the development of blood capillaries close to the membranes. This vascularization feature provides a rich blood supply to nourish the tissues within the membranes, aids in the communication of implanted cells with the host and assures rapid uptake of therapeutic molecules.
The TheraCyte™ System
The TheraCyte™ system is protected by 20 U.S. patents and multiple foreign patent filings in Europe and Japan. The company has a substantial database demonstrating biocompatibility and protection of allografts using the TheraCyte™ system in rodents, baboons, and humans. The device is effective for many months and does not require immune suppressive drugs. Tests for up to one year in humans have shown absolute biocompatibility, immune protection, and secretion of a therapeutic protein (parathyroid hormone) from TheraCyte devices containing allogeneic tissue.
Devices were well tolerated in these studies and were easily removed at the end of the study. The breadth and effectiveness of the TheraCyte™ cell delivery platform has been shown by a large number of animal studies using a wide variety of therapeutic agents. TheraCyte™ has been used to correct diabetes in rodents and deliver molecules such as Human Growth Hormone, Hemophilia Factor IX, Cytokines, Monoclonal Antibodies and Erythropoietin using genetically engineered cells.