Sanford Research Making Breakthroughs

Jun 08, 2016

Sioux Falls, S.D.–Sanford Research, part of one of the nation’s largest health care systems, is at the forefront of patient-focused research.

The Sioux Falls, S.D.-based health system is making significant breakthroughs in the areas of childhood rare diseases and Type 1 diabetes.

“Sanford is laser-focused on delivering research results that can be brought to patients as soon and as safely as possible,” said Dr. David Pearce, president of Sanford Research. “Thanks to many valuable collaborations worldwide, our pace of discovery is accelerating at an exciting pace. We’re looking forward to sharing more about our work at BIO.”

“The Sanford Project: T-Rex Study” is a collaborative study between Sanford Health and Caladrius Biosciences, Inc., for adolescents with newly onset type 1 diabetes that began earlier this year.

Type 1 diabetes is the focus of The Sanford Project, a cornerstone research initiative at Sanford Research.

Investigators in this trial are studying the effectiveness of cell therapy with expanded regulatory T cells, or Treg cells, to treat type 1 diabetes. Treg cells regulate the body’s immune system. A participant’s own Treg cells are extracted from the body, purified and multiplied and returned to blood circulation. Researchers are monitoring if beta cells and insulin production can be preserved through this type of immunotherapy.

Sanford Research also operates one of the few labs in the world focusing on Batten disease. Researchers have developed an animal model and cell-therapy method to treat the condition and received approval from the FDA and NIH for use in humans earlier this year.

The first patients to receive the treatment earlier are showing promising progress, Pearce said.

“We’re realists, but we’re certainly encouraged by the early results,” he said.

Sanford Health currently is involved in more than 300 clinical trials and employs more than 230 people in research-related jobs.

“Sanford Research has grown exponentially and is such a success story for South Dakota,” said Joni Johnson, executive director of South Dakota Biotech. “The international biotech community has taken notice of the work being done here and we know the potential exists to build even more collaboration through BIO.”

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Category: Press Release