Information for patients and their relatives

Dear followers of the VANGUARD project,

Since the VANGUARD website has been activated, we have received many messages from patients and their families enquiring about the possibility to enroll in the study.

We are grateful to have so many people interested in the project and following our progress. At the same time, we feel a great responsibility toward people living with type 1 diabetes and their families.

At this time, we are at the very start of the VANGUARD project. We have had a small delay in getting started due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the coming years we will work on developing the individual parts of the VANGUARD product. Once the separate parts are ready, we will assemble them to form the complete bioartificial pancreas. In order to understand whether the individual parts and the assembled product work, we will carry out our research on small animals. This development phase will take 5 years. After this we hope to start studying how the bioartificial pancreas works in humans/people.

Before we can test the bioartificial pancreas in humans, we need to show that it works (i.e. that it effectively produces insulin) and that it is safe to use in humans. The whole VANGUARD consortium is committed to meet these challenges.

As part of this project we will be investigating the patient perspective on this product. What are patients’ thoughts, concerns or information needs? We will study this so we can take these things into consideration in the next phase of human testing. When we start this part of our research, we will post information on how you can participate on our social media platforms. We hope you will get involved!

In the meantime, we will post news on the VANGUARD project on our social media platforms to keep you informed on our progress and the milestones we have reached.

Thank you for your interest in the VANGUARD project and be assured that the whole VANGUARD team is committed to deliver the bioartificial pancreas for you in the hope of offering a new treatment for Type I diabetes in the future.

Ekaterine Berishvili, MD, PhD, project coordinator

On behalf of the VANGUARD consortium