Type 1 diabetes, where the body destroys insulin producing cells, affects about 3 million people in the U.S. Costs of medical management for this disease tops $15 billion per year; up to half of these costs are for glucose monitoring and insulin replacement therapy. The use of cellular therapies to provide dynamic insulin replacement in people with T1D is a promising experimental approach, but faces key obstacles related to long-term survival of implanted cells. VIC investigators have shown that inclusion of high concentrations of the recombinant human chemokine CXCL12 in clinical-grade alginate microbeads results in a chemokine release profile that enhances the long-term viability of encapsulated islets. CXCL12 provides pro-survival signals to the islet cells while significantly reducing both innate and adaptive immune attack against the islets. Xenoislets encapsulated in this manner have achieved functional survival in normal immune mice with diabetes for almost a year. A product candidate that combines porcine xenoislets, LVM alginate and recombinant CXCL12 is being readied for pivotal non-human primate studies that are a critical hurdle to translating the candidate into human trials. The study is funded by JDRF. VIC has licensed the patents related to this technology to the startup company ViCapsys.