Accomplishments and Status

Spring Point Project (SPP) is the only producer of FDA-“approved”, clinically suitable live porcine (pig) materials in the United States.
  • SPP is squarely positioned in the middle of three of distinct paths to a cure:
    • Encapsulated porcine islet transplantation – Performed encapsulated islet isolations using porcine islets by SPP.
    • Porcine islet transplantation, with rejection being prevented by more selective and less risky immunosuppression drug therapy – performed by the University of Minnesota in collaboration with other academic centers and the pharmaceutical and biotech industry using porcine islets from SPP.
      • In a recent study, conducted by Dr. Bernhard Hering and colleagues at the University of Minnesota in partnership with SPP, rejection of transplanted porcine islets was prevented in 21 out of 25 Non-human primates (NHP). This significant accomplishment will allow for continued progress in our shared mission.
      • Rejection of transplanted porcine islets in this study was prevented by a new combination of immune suppressive drugs; these drugs were previously approved by the FDA for preventing kidney transplant rejection and the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Despite efficacy of these drugs in preventing the rejection of transplanted porcine islets, it was decided not to proceed with the preparations for the planned pilot clinical trial testing porcine islets and chronic immunosuppression for two reasons. First, novel and more selective immunosuppressive drugs with a much better safety profile are now becoming available. Second, long-term transplanted porcine islet survival in mice is now routinely achieved using strategies that reprogram the recipient’s immune system (known as tolerance induction) thereby requiring no long term immune suppressive drugs at all. These strategies are now being evaluated in the preclinical pig to NHP islet transplant setting.
    • Porcine islet transplantation, with tolerance to porcine islets being induced via conditioning of the recipient’s immune system and no long term immune suppression – performed by the University of Minnesota in collaboration with other academic centers using porcine islets from SPP.
  • We’ve learned that not all current research projects need our product at the same time, and while we will continue to fully support research at the University of Minnesota, we also have the opportunity to expand our efforts to support different paths to the cure – providing greater opportunities for success.
  • By expanding our support to different research groups, we’re aggressively encouraging collaboration among scientists and fostering progress toward a cure.
  • Because we have a greater opportunities for success, our value proposition has never been stronger:
    • We now support more options for success through different sciences
    • Our model will produce the lowest-cost islet cells possible – leaving more money for research
    • We produce the only FDA- ‘approved’ porcine materials for clinical use in the United States
    • We have potential to supply porcine materials to non-diabetes research initiatives
    • We are encouraging collaboration among multiple research initiatives toward a cure for diabetes.
  • We’re in the best place we’ve ever been, and we’re more optimistic than ever that a cure is possible – we’re doing everything we can, and we won’t give up until it’s found.

“My wife, Patty, and I became involved in the fight to find a cure for diabetes following the diagnosis of our son, Cory, with Type 1 diabetes. Since that time,
a mighty group of board members,
donors and supporters, all with a
passion for finding a cure for diabetes, have joined our efforts and made our accomplishments possible.”

– Tom Cartier,
Spring Point Project