The BIOactive implantable CApsule for PANcreatic islets immunosuppression-free therapy consortium was established in 2014 and was awarded a €8,000,000 grant by the European Commission under the auspices of the HORIZON2020 research program. The project was launched in June 2015 and is currently completing its third out of four years of funded research. The project will end on May 31st 2019.
During this time, the BIOCAPAN consortium has been working at the development of a biological device consisting in the assembling of biomaterials and cells that are incorporated within state-of-the-art microcapsules. Altogether, these components are expected to support and protect the human islets encapsulated within the device.
The biocompatibility of the biomaterials and the microcapsules has also been analysed and validated and the consortium has defined the final composition of the BIOCAPAN capsule.
Preliminary results show that the capsule composition improves both the viability and the functionality of islets in vitro.
In vivo tests were initiated in June 2018, and preliminary data will soon be coming.
BIOCAPAN is also developing a prototype of an automatized encapsulating device to ensure islet encapsulation in GMP conditions. This prototype, delivered by CEA in April 2018 allows the encapsulation of a reproducible, standardized, high-speed production of bioactive capsules, three fundamental conditions required to allow bioactive capsules production for future clinical trials.
In order to prepare clinical trials, we have engaged interactions with European regulatory authorities.