The Use Of Parathyroid Gland Cells And Their Secreted Factors To Promote Islet Beta Cell Engraftments

Tech ID: 29209 / UC Case 2018-064-0

Invention Novelty

This invention identifies a novel method to increases survival of transplanted islets in extra-hepatic sites (subcutaneous and intramuscular) through co-transplantation of pancreatic islet beta cells together with parathyroid glands (PTGs). This treatment can successfully be used for patients with type I diabetes.

Value Proposition

Pancreatic beta cell replacement therapy is an effective method to treat type I diabetes. Major obstacles to broad clinical adoption of beta cell replacement therapy are lack of islets for transplant, poor survival of transplanted beta cells, and immunoreactivity to transplanted cells. Efforts to address the first obstacle have led to the development of alternative sources for islet cells, such as engineered porcine islets and stem cell-derived islets. The vast majority of these transplanted beta cells die within a few days of transplant, reducing the overall efficacy of the treatment. To escape immune surveillance of islet grafts, methods to encapsulate the transplanted islets in different biomaterials have been developed to allow for release of insulin from the islet cells while preventing the patient’s immune system from detecting and destroying the transplanted beta cells. However, encapsulation further exacerbates beta cell death after transplant, severely limiting the utility of this approach.  Therefore, promoting survival of the transplanted beta cells is critical to the efficacy and broad application of beta cell replacement therapy.

This novel invention provides a more efficient method of treating type I diabetes through co-transplantation of an insulin-producing cell (such as pancreatic islet beta cells from porcine islets or human stem cells) and a cell derived from a parathyroid gland.

Technological advantages:
  • Preservation of islet beta cell mass after transplant
  • Greatly enhanced engraftment of transplanted islets in extra-hepatic sites
  • Better vascularization of the islet grafts to support beta cell survival and function

Technology Description

UCSF scientists have discovered that co-transplantation of pancreatic islet beta cells together with parathyroid glands (PTGs) significantly increases survival of the transplanted islets in extra-hepatic sites (subcutaneous and intramuscular). Increased survival of transplanted beta cells can successfully be used to treat patients with type I diabetes.


Improved methods of treating diabetes and transplantation of insulin-producing cells.

Looking for Partners

To develop and commercialize this technology as an effective treatment for type I diabetes

Stage of Development


Data Availability


Patent Status

Patent Pending


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  • Chang, Wenhan
  • Chang, Wenhan
  • Faleo, Gaetano
  • Hebrok, Matthias
  • Nair, Gopika
  • Stock, Peter G.
  • Tang, Qizhi
  • Ward, Casey

Other Information


Pancreatic beta cell replacement therapy, Tissue/Organ Biology & Endocrinology, Diabetes Mellitus

Categorized As