Diabetics queue to take part in NZ pig cell trial
4:00AM Friday Aug 14, 2009
By Martin Johnston

Middlemore Hospital has had an unprecedented rush of patients offering to be implanted with pig cells in its trial of a ground-breaking therapy for type 1 diabetes.

More than 300 people worldwide with type 1 diabetes, an auto-immune disorder not related to obesity, have applied to take part in the trial.

But the Centre for Clinical Research, which is running the trial at the hospital in South Auckland, wants only eight patients who fit strict criteria, and they must live within reasonable travelling distance.

What's more, because of the potential risk of introducing pig viruses to the human population, the trial's designers want to minimise the chances of participants later having children.

More here.