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UP421: Revolutionizing Diabetes Treatment Without Immunosuppression

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Uppsala University Hospital and Sana Biotechnology recently announced a groundbreaking development in diabetes treatment.

They have received authorization from the Swedish Medical Products Agency for a first-in-human clinical trial of UP421, a novel islet cell therapy for type 1 diabetes.

This treatment, developed using Sana’s innovative hypoimmune (HIP) technology, aims to transplant functional islet cells without the need for immunosuppression, a major advancement in the field.

Traditionally, islet cell transplantation for type 1 diabetes involves transplanting cells from a cadaver to regulate blood glucose without insulin. However, this procedure necessitates immune suppression to prevent rejection of the transplanted cells, leading to various complications and limited efficacy.

UP421, engineered to avoid both allogeneic and autoimmune rejection, could transform this treatment by eliminating the need for immunosuppression.

The trial’s endpoints include safety, cell survival, immune evasion, and C-peptide production. Insights from this study will also inform the development of SC451, another therapy based on Sana’s hypoimmune-modified stem cells.

Sana’s hypoimmune technology works by disrupting human leukocyte antigen (HLA) expression and overexpressing CD47, enabling the engineered cells to evade both the adaptive and innate immune systems. This approach could significantly improve the engraftment, survival, and functionality of transplanted cells in type 1 diabetes patients without the drawbacks of immune suppression​​.

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