Beta Cell Formation Inducers for Treatment of Diabetes

Tech ID:

UT Health San Antonio researchers have developed methods for the treatment of Type I and Type II Diabetes Mellitus.  The patent-pending technology encompasses in vivo approaches to preferentially increase the number of beta islet (insulin-producing) cells in the adult pancreas without increasing the number of non-insulin-producing cells.



Diabetes is an immense and growing global health problem. There is a compelling unmet medical need for effective therapeutics offering long-term control of diabetes. Over 340 million people in the world have diabetes.  More than 25 million individuals in the United States representing 8.3% of the population have diabetes, including more than 25% of seniors.  An additional 79 million individuals are classified as prediabetic.


Approximately 40% of type 2 diabetics in the US require insulin treatment.  For 1.5 million type 1 diabetics in the US, insulin is an absolute requirement.  The annual market for diabetes drugs is $35 billion and is projected to grow to $58 billion by 2018.  Each of the top 10 best-selling diabetes drugs is a blockbuster, with sales ranging from $1.5 billion to over $6 billion annually.  Most of these drugs are insulin or insulin analog formulations, or incretin hormone mimetic agents that stimulate the release of insulin.  The available therapeutic agents are generally intended for short-term control of blood sugar.  On an individual level, living with diabetes can require over 2,000 finger pricks per year to test blood glucose levels and over 1,400 insulin injections per year for glucose control.  Additionally, diabetic individuals are subject to development of complications, including heart disease, diabetic retinopathy and blindness, amputation, neuropathy and kidney failure.


The UT Health SA technology represents a new paradigm in diabetes therapy, offering the potential to induce the formation of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, thus achieving long-term production of insulin by the patients' own cells as needed in response to glycemic fluctuations. 


Commercial Applications & Advantages:

·        A therapy for long-term control of Type I and Type II diabetes is a significant and compelling unmet medical need

·        Successful development and commercialization may eliminate the need for administration of insulin in diabetic populations.

·        Proof of concept established in small animal studies, which demonstrated that beta cells in the pancreas can be stimulated to resume production of insulin in response to an increase in plasma glucose levels. 

Patent Information:
For information contact:
John Fritz
Sr. Business Development Manager
Office of Technology Commercialization
Bruno Doiron
Ralph Defronzo