New human beta cell model enables discoveries in diabetes research 

Human Cell Design, a biotechnology company focused on generating translational human cellular models, has launched Endoc-BH5 to “open up entirely new scientific avenues in diabetes studies”, the company says.  

What is Endoc-BH5? 

Human Cell Design combined hiPSC-derived differentiated cells (human-induced Pluripotent Stem Cells) and primary cell models with its proprietary NatLine amplification and maturation platform to “bridge the gap” between its previous versions and native human pancreatic beta cells.


Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic autoimmune disease leading to the progressive loss of pancreatic beta cells. Type 2 diabet§es (T2D) is a complex disease with genetic and non-genetic risk factors. Diabetes affects more than 500 million people worldwide. As the cellular mechanisms underlying these disorders are yet to be fully understood, authentic human beta cell models are key to advancing research and accelerating drug discovery in this area. 

Limitations in understanding beta cell pathophysiology are due to the lack of a stable and functional human beta cell model, restricted access to human cadaveric pancreatic islets and the functional limits of induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC)-derived beta-like cells. On the other hand, rodent models, whilst they have provided valuable insights into beta cell function, present fundamental structural, transcriptional and functional differences, in addition to a distinctive genetic background. EndoC-BH5 offers the possibility of studying human beta cell pathophysiology in vitro.  

Official comments

“Through Endoc-BH5, we are pioneering a new approach to diabetes research and drug discovery. This advanced cell line family demonstrates that our NatLine maturation platform enables complete functional maturation from progenitor cells,” said Bruno Blanchi, Chief Scientific Officer at Human Cell Design. “In addition, Endoc-BH5 provides the diabetes research community with a stable, ready-to-use solution that can be stored in a freezer, for robust functional data, allowing them to use quantities of cells without the hassle of human islet preparation and the limitations of human tissue access and variability.”

“Human Cell Design’s partners, all widely recognized professionals in the fields of T1D and T2D, have expressed great confidence in Endoc-BH5. Our NatLine platform can now potentially provide the research community with many other innovative human cellular models and trigger a translational revolution thanks to fully-programmed functional human cells. We are currently working with 20 international groups, with a target of 50 partners by the end of 2022,” said Guillaume Costecalde, Chairman of Human Cell Design. 

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