The mission of the Emory Antibiotic Resistance Center’s (Emory ARC) is to better understand antibiotic resistance to combat this crisis and improve human health.

Their goals include learning how antibiotic resistance develops, optimizing the way antibiotics are used to preserve their power, and discovering novel therapeutics and vaccines to directly combat antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Solving the crisis of antibiotic resistance requires a multi-faceted approach that crosses traditional boundaries. At Emory ARC, clinicians and basic scientists work side-by-side in an environment that combines the essential intellectual and physical resources needed. Working in partnership with government and public and private institutions in the US and worldwide, Emory ARC represents a new and critical component of the fight against antibiotic resistance.

Vicapsys is a privately-owned biotechnology company that is developing innovative products for diabetes. Our goal is to provide patients, suffering from severe forms of diabetes, cell-based transplants that restore endogenous insulin production. Vicapsys is helmed by Dr. Nicolas Chronos who has extensive experience in cell-based therapies and product commercialization as well as Dr. Mark Poznansky a renowned immunologist who runs a laboratory funded by the NIH, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, The Marsha Rivkin Center and private foundations at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), also known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, is an autoimmune disease that causes progressive destruction of the insulin-producing pancreatic cells.  Insulin injection is a common method to directly control blood glucose levels, but has limitation and complications. Currently, human whole pancreas transplantation and cell replacement are the most promising approaches for treatment of T1DM. However, these methods are impractical because of a shortage of donor tissue and rejection rate by the patient’s immune system. Xenotransplantation is one prospective treatment to bridge the gap between the availability of human cells and the needs of diabetes patients. Pigs represent an ideal candidate for becoming a source for obtaining the islets necessary for the development of a cell-based therapy. However, potential clinical application of pig islets still faces obstacles including inadequate yield of high-quality functional islets, xenorejection of the transplants, and complications associated immunosuppressive medication. Immunoisolation of pancreatic islets, also known as encapsulation, not only allows for transplantation of cells without immunosuppression, but also increases the potential of using cells from a nonhuman origin. Researchers at Vicapsys are developing a technology to encapsulate islet cells with proprietary cytokines for immunoisolation of transplanted islet cells.

Vicapsys is located at UGA’s Innovation Gateway in Athens, GA and closely collaborates with the scientific founders at Massachusetts General Hospital, and are establishing collaborations with other centers of expertise.

Vicapsys is accelerating the pre-clinical development plan, in preparation of their first clinical product. This will primarily consist of:

  • Accelerating prototype development;
  • Preparing cGMP-process;
  • Filing for IND to obtain approval by US-FDA for clinical use of our cell-therapy product.