A privately held biotechnology company will be used for medical-grade source pigs which are being developed by Spring Point Project, a Minnesota non-profit organisation providing pig islet cells for transplantation to cure diabetes.
With this technology, GeneSeek, a certified Illumina CSPro laboratory in contractual high-throughput genotyping, will help Spring Point Project and the Schulze Diabetes Institute of the University of Minnesota identify pigs that are naturally superior donors of pancreatic islet tissue for diabetes cure.
The laboratory will take samples from Spring Point Project’s pigs to genotype for over 60,000 DNA markers using the new Infinium HD Porcine SNP60 Bead Chip from Illumina (San Diego, CA).
High quality information
This will provide Spring Point Project with high quality DNA information to link DNA profiles with characteristics of islet tissue. The information will help Spring Point Project supply the optimum islets for transplantation.
Spring Point Project operates a biosecure facility, known as the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation (DRWF) Islet Resource Facility, where high-health, ‘medical-grade’ source pig donors are produced.
The Schulze Diabetes Institute at the University of Minnesota works in partnership with Spring Point Project by conducting the preclinical and clinical trials. In this partnership, the two organisations provide the science and the source needed to move toward a cure for diabetes.
Currently, several litters of second generation piglets are being raised at the DRWF Islet Resource Facility operated by Spring Point Project. These pigs are the first pigs in the facility which can serve as donors of islet cells suitable for transplantation in diabetes patients. The first clinical trials are slated to begin within one year.