Phase 3 trial of transplantation of human islets in type 1 diabetes complicated by severe hypoglycemia

Bernhard J. Hering*, William R. Clarke, Nancy D. Bridges, Thomas L. Eggerman, Rodolfo Alejandro, Melena D. Bellin, Kathryn Chaloner, Christine W. Czarniecki, Julia S. Goldstein, Lawrence G. Hunsicker, Dixon B. Kaufman, Olle Korsgren, Christian P. Larsen, Xunrong Luo, James F. Markmann, Ali Naji, Jose Oberholzer, Andrew M. Posselt, Michael R. Rickels, Camillo RicordiMark A. Robien, Peter A. Senior, A. M. James Shapiro, Peter G. Stock, Nicole A. Turgeon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

467 Scopus citations


Objective Impaired awareness of hypoglycemia (IAH) and severe hypoglycemic events (SHEs) cause substantial morbidity and mortality in patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Current therapies are effective in preventing SHEs in 50-80% of patients with IAH and SHEs, leaving a substantial number of patients at risk.We evaluated the effectiveness and safety of a standardized human pancreatic islet product in subjects in whom IAH and SHEs persisted despite medical treatment. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS This multicenter, single-arm, phase 3 study of the investigational product purified human pancreatic islets (PHPI)was conducted at eight centers inNorth America. Fortyeight adults with T1D for >5 years, absent stimulated C-peptide, and documented IAH and SHEs despite expert care were enrolled. Each received immunosuppression and one or more transplants of PHPI, manufactured on-site under good manufacturing practice conditions using a common batch record and standardized lot release criteria and test methods. The primary end point was the achievement of HbA1c <7.0% (53 mmol/mol) at day 365 and freedom from SHEs from day 28 to day 365 after the first transplant. RESULTS The primary end point was successfully met by 87.5% of subjects at 1 year and by 71% at 2 years. The median HbA1c level was 5.6% (38 mmol/mol) at both 1 and 2 years. Hypoglycemia awareness was restored, with highly significant improvements in Clarke and HYPO scores (P > 0.0001). No study-related deaths or disabilities occurred. Five of the enrollees (10.4%) experienced bleeds requiring transfusions (corresponding to 5 of 75 procedures), and two enrollees (4.1%) had infections attributed to immunosuppression. Glomerular filtration rate decreased significantly on immunosuppression, and donor-specific antibodies developed in two patients. CONCLUSIONS Transplanted PHPI provided glycemic control, restoration of hypoglycemia awareness, and protection from SHEs in subjects with intractable IAH and SHEs. Safety events occurred related to the infusion procedure and immunosuppression, including bleeding and decreased renal function. Islet transplantation should be considered for patients with T1D and IAH in whom other, less invasive current treatments have been ineffective in preventing SHEs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1230-1240
Number of pages11
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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