uses pig islets to replace human islets that have been destroyed by type 1 diabetes.


Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body destroys its own insulin producing cells in the pancreas. These cells are called islets. 


With no islets, the pancreas can no longer produce insulin in response to rises in blood sugar.  People living with type 1 diabetes must replace the lost insulin by adhering to a strict regime of regular insulin injections, together with careful management of their food intake and exercise.


Pig insulin and human insulin are so remarkably similar that pig insulin was the first type of insulin used to treat type I diabetes. 


DIABECELL works by replacing the lost human islets with pig islets, restoring the intrinsic ability to control blood glucose and giving people living with type I diabetes back their independence and quality of life.

With DIABECELL we take islets from our unique herd of Auckland Island pigs and transplant these islets into the abdomen of patients using a simple surgical process. 


We protect the pig islets through a process known as encaspulation before implanting them.  This puts them in a jelly like capsule and protects them from attack by the patient's immune system.


To date, a total of 46 patients have taken part in clinical trials of DIABECELL. The goals of these trials have been to find the optimal dose required for DIABECELL and to obtain early indication of its effectiveness in controlling type I diabetes. These trials showed that DIABECELL has the potential to significantly reduce the number of unaware hypoglycaemic events that people living with Type I diabetes experience, whilst also reducing their insulin dose and not experiencing a rise in HbA1c.


DOL is now preparing for a larger Phase II/III study to more fully determine the frequency and extent of this benefit.