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Genetically Engineered Pancreatic Organoids Composed of Extracellular Matrix Hydrogels for the Purpose of Long-Term Therapeutic Glycemic Maintenance

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W911NF19C0021
Agency Tracking Number: D18C-004-0075
Amount: $224,589.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: ST18C-004
Solicitation Number: 18.C
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-03-18
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-01-17
Small Business Information
10098 Stella de Oro Drive
North Huntingdon, PA 15642
United States
DUNS: 116717763
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Denver Faulk
 Founder and CEO
 (724) 961-6125
Business Contact
 Denver Faulk
Phone: (724) 961-6125
Research Institution
 University of Pittsburgh
 Ricardo Londono Ricardo Londono
4200 Fifth Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

 (786) 351-0124
 Nonprofit College or University

Glucose abnormalities significantly affect patient morbidity and mortality. Currently, glycemic control is achieved via medications and exogenous insulin regimens that are costly both in terms of qualified personnel and consumables. Furthermore, none of these approaches are curative. Strategies under development such artificial pancreases do not necessarily address these limitations because they would still rely on consumables and in addition, glucose sampling from the interstitium is not feasible. Autologous islet cell transplantation is less than ideal because cell procurement and expansion in culture can not be performed in real time, and these cells would still be susceptible to autoimmune disease such as Type 1 Diabetes. The objective of this proposal is to develop a solution that simultaneously overcomes all of these limitations. We propose a tissue-engineered approach based on implantable ready-to-use xenogeneic organoids that have been genetically engineered to prevent rejection and autoimmune disease, and are able to provide reliable, autonomous, multi-hormonal glycemic control. The substrate for the pancreatic cell organoids will be a hydrogel composed of pancreatic porcine extracellular matrix containing porcine pancreatic alpha and beta cells that will inherently produce insulin and glucagon in response to glycemic status, and will be genetically engineered via CRIPR-Cas9 to avoid rejection.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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