Tampere, Finland – Vactech Oy (Vactech), a biotechnology company focused on development of vaccines for Type 1 Diabetes and other immune mediated diseases, today announced that enterovirus infection has been detected in the pancreases of living patients newly diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and the research results has been published in the scientific journal of the American Diabetes Association (Diabetes journal).

Publication: http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/64/5/1682.long

Study setup

The Diabetes Virus Detection study (DiViD) is the first to examine fresh pancreatic tissue at the diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes for the presence of viruses. Minimal pancreatic tail resection was performed 3–9 weeks after onset of Type 1 Diabetes in six adult patients (age 24–35 years). The presence of enteroviral capsid protein and the expression of class I HLA were investigated by immunohistochemistry. Enterovirus RNA was analyzed from isolated pancreatic islets and from fresh-frozen whole pancreatic tissue using PCR and sequencing. Nondiabetic organ donors served as controls. The study is part of the European Union PEVNET research programme.


Enterovirus protein was detected in the islets of all type 1 diabetic patients (two of nine controls). Hyperexpression of class I HLA molecules was found in the islets of all patients (one of nine controls). Enterovirus-specific RNA sequences were detected in four of six patients (zero of six controls). The results were confirmed in various laboratories. Only 1.7% of the islets contained enterovirus postive cells, and the amount of enterovirus RNA was low. The results provide evidence for the presence of enterovirus in pancreatic islets of type 1 diabetic patients, which is consistent with the possibility that a low-grade enteroviral infection in the pancreatic islets contributes to disease progression in humans.

"This study provides convincing evidence for the presence of enterovirus in the pancreas of Type 1 Diabetes patients. It supports epidemiological studies showing a risk assocation between these viruses and diabetes, and fits with a chronic enterovirus infection in the pancreas of these patients", said MD, Ph.D Heikki Hyöty, Chairman of the Vactech Board and Senior Adviser.

About Vactech

Vactech develops and licenses vaccines and novel technologies for vaccines and diagnostics with a pipeline of early stage product candidates focused on Type 1 Diabetes, Celiac Disease, Asthma & Allergy and diagnostics.

Vactech’s flagship project is a patented enterovirus based preventive Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) vaccine, similar to the widely used enterovirus vaccine against polio. The vaccine is a traditional inactivated vaccine and it has been proved to be safe and effective in mice. In addition, Vactech’s IMAVAC™ product line uses Virus Like Particle (VLP) technology which is essential for other vaccines, immunomodulators and diagnostic applications.

Vactech is a privately owned company. We have a track record of collaboration with big pharma on the level of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP). We consider ourselves as an attractive investment target for those that believe in and want to grow with our mission.

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Please see the company's website at www.vactech.fi for additional information or contact:

Raimo Harju, CEO