A new experimental stem-cell based treatment for combating diabetic kidney disease, invented by a Galway-based company, has received €6m from the European Union to fund its development and testing.
The four-year project will see Orbsen Therapeutics, NUI Galway and other international partners conduct clinical trials on the new treatment in four different countries.
Kidney disease is a common complication of diabetes, and because there is no effective treatment, it can lead to kidney failure and even death.
Orbsen Therapeutics, a spin-out company from the Regenerative Medicine Institute at NUI Galway, has a new treatment method under development called Cyndacel-M.
The technique involves purifying and making safe for use a certain form of stem cell taken from healthy donor bone marrow that can then be injected into a patient's bloodstream with the hope that it may slow or halt kidney disease.
A project called NEPHSTROM, which will test the effectiveness and safety of the treatment in 48 humans next year, won the funding from the EU's Horizon 2020 research fund.
The study will also examine how Cyndacel-M can be mass produced for use in the clinical setting.
The project is a collaboration of 11 European partners and the trials will be conducted in Ireland, Northern Ireland, England and Italy, with the stem cells manufactured in four locations including Galway, which has Ireland's only licensed stem call manufacturing facility.