Jordanian Researchers and their Novel Work on Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes Featured at The Alliance for the Advancement of Cellular Therapies 2015 Conference

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Jordanian team to present initial findings from clinical study treating diabetic patients

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The Alliance for The Advancement of Cellular Therapies (AACT) conference, entitled, The Dilemma of Difficult Diseases: Cellular Therapies to the Rescue? and hosted at the Drake Hotel Sept. 16-18, will highlight the progress and promise of regenerative medicine and cellular therapies. The conference features presentations from leading physicians and scientists from around the world, including U.S., Germany, France, Italy and Jordan. Reports of the most current data will highlight the treatment of chronic and untreatable human conditions using different cellular therapy protocols.

Jordanian researchers, Dr. Adeeb Al-Zoubi and Brigadier General Dr. Hazem Habboub will present their novel work on the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes using autologous stem cell transplantation combined with immunomodulation.

Adeeb Al-Zoubi, a Ph.D. graduate from the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), a Clinical Assistant Professor at The University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria, and CEO of Stem Cells of Arabia in Amman, Jordan, said that they started working on this project 18 years ago at UIC during his Ph.D. training with Dr. Bellur Prabhakar (Associate Dean of Research and Innovation) at the College of Medicine. Their study was aimed at understanding the nature of the immune attack on the insulin secreting beta cells in the pancreas that lead to the development of Type 1 Diabetes. Further research at UIC led by Prabhakar , PhD, Mark Holterman, MD, PhD (Professor of Surgery) and Yong Zhao, MD, PhD showed that it was possible to stop the immune attack on pancreatic Beta cells through immunomodulation (regulating a specific immune attack on specific targets). Dr. Zhao (now Clinical Professor at Hackensack Medical University) further demonstrated the capacity of specific stem cells to differentiate into insulin secreting beta cells.

A decade later, Dr. Al-Zoubi and his team at Stem Cells of Arabia developed a novel way to purify specific types of stem cells taken from diabetic patient's blood that are able to differentiate into Beta cells that secrete insulin when transplanted into pancreatic tissues.

Once purified, the cells are then delivered into specific areas of the pancreas using interventional radiology techniques under the guidance of Brig. Gen. Dr. Hazem Habboub, Head of Radiology at The Royal Medical Services of Jordan. Dr Habboub and his team developed a novel way to implant the purified cells into pancreatic micro-capillaries in the region of the pancreas richest in insulin production. This minimally invasive procedure does not require surgery or general anesthesia. The Jordanian team will present their initial findings from their clinical study treating diabetic patients.

"We started working on the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes at our Stem Cells of Arabia facilities in Amman, Jordan, in 2005, where our scientists were able to purify three types of autologous stem cells taken from the patient's own blood that can differentiate into Beta cells that secrete insulin, in addition to other types of cells that regulate the production of insulin and restore pancreatic cellular components, Dr. Al-Zoubi said on the eve of the Chicago conference. "We followed internationally approved procedures and used clinical-grade reagents and instruments, approved to treat other conditions, to purify the intended autologous stem cells,” Dr. Al-Zoubi added. "This unique and sophisticated therapeutic approach supports Beta cell regeneration, combined with the previously published immunomodulation protocol, utilizes cutting edge science and was carried out in collaborations with top scientists and medical professionals at The University of Illinois, The Royal Medical Services and the Al-Khaldi Hospital and Medical Center in Amman,” Dr. Al-Zoubi further explained.
Collaborative efforts continue with planned expansion of clinical trials to treat diabetes in the U.S.

The AACT Conference, September 16-18 at the Drake Hotel, is open to all registrants. More information may be found at

The Alliance for the Advancement of Cellular Therapies, AACT, is a global alliance of scientists, researchers, physicians, administrators, device manufacturers, and patients, dedicated to the ethical, efficacious, and expeditious advancement of cell therapies. The collaboration between diverse members is directed at establishing best practice guidelines and clinical translation of biologics within informed regulatory oversight.

AACT, a nonprofit organization, will strive to serve as an objective advocate for the safe deployment of cell therapies to treat a variety of diseases. AACT will support the training of cell therapy providers, increase public awareness and facilitate increased patient access to these cell therapies.


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