Through our subsidiary Orgenesis Ltd., Orgenesis has developed a unique, proprietary and patented platform technology called Transdifferentiation (or cell reprograming), whereby an adult cell is converted into another type of cell, with its distinct phenotype and function.
The first indication for the Company's unique cell-based therapy, was development of Autologous Insulin Producing ("AIP") cells that transforms the patient's own liver cell into a fully functional and physiologically glucose-responsive insulin-producing cell, designed to provide long-term insulin independence.
Orgenesis has utilized its proprietary technology to successfully reprogram human liver cells into glucose-responsive, fully functional, insulin producing cells. Converting the diabetic patient's own tissue into insulin-producing cells has the potential to provide a practical cure for insulin dependent diabetes and overcome the significant issues of donor shortage, cost and exposure to chronic immunosuppressive therapy associated with islet cell transplantation.
Because the AIP cells are autologous, this benefit should be achieved and maintained without the need for concomitant immunosuppressive therapy.
Stem Cells vs Adult Cells
Within the field of cell therapy, research and development using stem cells to treat a host of diseases and conditions has greatly expanded. All living complex organisms start as a single cell that replicates, differentiates (matures) and perpetuates in an adult organism throughout its lifetime.
Stem cells (in either embryonic or adult forms) are primitive and undifferentiated cells that have the unique ability to transform into or otherwise affect many different cells, such as white blood cells, nerve cells or heart muscle cells.
Our cell therapy development efforts do not use stem cells, but rather offer a much more targeted approach using fully mature, adult cells. For our purposes, in the treatment of diabetes, our cells are derived from the liver or other adult tissue and are transdifferentiated to become adult AIP cells.
Our technology utilizing adult cells is designed to reduce the risk of cell mutation and allows for the testing of cells ex vivo before insertion. Secondly, our adult cells do not propagate inside the patient, eliminating the risk of malignancy. Lastly, our technology utilizes the patient's own autologous cells which eliminates the risk of an immune response or rejection and no pouch or encapsulation device is required to isolate the cells from the patient's immune system.