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“The Human Trial” Documentary Covers ViaCyte’s Landmark Study

Full-length feature documentary to wrap up in 2017.

The Human Trial is a full-length documentary following San Diego-based company ViaCyte for the duration of its landmark trial, the first-ever human trial of a stem cell-derived beta cell replacement therapy for type 1 diabetes (see our recent article here for a stem cell research update). While the producer, Tenth Muse Films, doesn’t have a screening timeline yet, they hope to finish the film by 2017 and then roll it out in theaters, on TV, social media, and video-on-demand. They are currently in discussion with distributors, and accepting donations from those who want to be involved.

ViaCyte is currently the farthest ahead in the efforts to develop a stem cell-derived functional cure with a product already being tested in humans in phase 1/2 clinical trials. It recently acquired rights and assets from BetaLogics, the Johnson & Johnson-owned company that had been working under-the-radar on its own cell replacement approach for diabetes. We learned earlier this year at the JP Morgan Healthcare conference that twelve of the enrolled patients have now received stem cell therapy at low doses, and early safety and tolerability results are promising. ViaCyte plans to use these initial results to improve the therapy before beginning the second cohort, which will test how well the therapy works in 36 patients.

The filmmakers take the potential impact of the film beyond that of a cure for type 1 diabetes, recognizing that a stem cell cure for type 1 diabetes could be applied to type 2 diabetes later down the line. As it says on The Human Trial’s website, “diabetes is an epidemic,” and this film aims to be “a starting point for a global conversation.”

For more on ViaCyte and The Human Trial, you can watch the trailer on the documentary website

Image Credit: The Human Trial

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