The Food and Drug Administration recently approved a trial to use adipose-derived stem cells to treat non-healing leg ulcers, a common complication of diabetes, in a study conducted by researchers at Sanford Health.  “This clinical trial can help explore treatments for people with non-healing wounds, including people who have diabetes and others with conditions that affect their quality of life,” according to David Pearce, Ph.D., executive vice president of innovation and research at Sanford Health. According to the World Health Organization, in 2014 more than 422 million people have been living with diabetes globally.  The trials, which began in September, followed a similar study in which stem cells were tested for the treatment of shoulder injuries.

While the study has not yet been completed, the FDA’s support indicates growing interest in this arena.  According to Marissa Brassfield of Abundance 360, “this is a great example of how we can use exponential technology advances to tackle large-scale problems — like the 2 to 5 million people living with chronic wounds in the United States alone — which serves to fund a larger vision, refine the technical details, and explore adjacent applications.”

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