7 Oct 2009

First pig cell transplant completed in NZ trial

3:22 pm on 7 October 2009

A 47-year-old man has become the first of eight New Zealanders to have pig cells transplanted into his body as part of a study which aims to cure diabetes.

Biotech company Living Cell Technologies, which is running the trial, confirmed the transplant took place at Auckland's Middlemore Hospital on Tuesday.

The trials were approved by the Minister of Health in June, following heavy vetting by government agencies over the past three years.

A trial by Living Cell Technologies in 1996 was halted over safety concerns.

The company says it can take three to eight weeks to see progress from the transplant.