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Diabetes is on the rise, especially among the young. The number of people under 20 diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) rose 21 percent between 2001 and 2009. Experts predict there will be a 144 percent increase in cases by 2050.

Those with T1D cannot produce their own insulin with which to balance blood-sugar levels. For children, regular insulin monitoring can be particularly challenging. The entrepreneur Anders Essen-Möller discovered this hard truth when his daughter was diagnosed in 1993.

Diamyd, NYT
Diamyd, NYT

Essen-Möller has been hunting for a T1D cure ever since, and founded Diamyd Medical in 1996 after discovering promising research around the enzyme GAD.

GAD, found in insulin-producing beta cells, helps them function. In some people, the immune system mistakenly attacks GAD, eventually destroying the body’s ability to make insulin.

Diamyd Medical is developing a vaccine that teaches the immune system that GAD and insulin-producing cells are nonthreatening. By safely and specifically preserving the insulin-producing cells, the vaccine will make it significantly easier to live with T1D, which is an important step towards a cure.


The vaccine was approaching Phase 3 clinical trials — the final stage before regulatory approval — when the pandemic hit.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers directed resources toward the urgent development of Covid vaccines. Diamyd Medical faced a choice: Should it try to find a new manufacturing plant or build a dedicated one?

“We realized, as a small company, we might be deprioritized... We needed to take control,” says Ulf Hannelius, C.E.O. of Diamyd Medical.

Diamyd, NYT
Diamyd, NYT

Diamyd Medical ultimately decided to bring its manufacturing in-house using Cytiva’s biomanufacturing platform, FlexFactory™.

FlexFactory™ is a paramount investment for Diamyd Medical to bring its vaccine to market. In making this long-term commitment, Hannelius appreciates Cytiva’s benefits, both technical and personal. “With Cytiva, you get all these other things on top — like the people you meet and how easy it is to collaborate,” he says.


See how Cytiva’s modular biomanufacturing platform is advancing and accelerating life-saving therapies.