Surgeon, Professor, Researcher
Dr. Scharp trained and worked at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, as a Professor of Surgery and researcher in islet transplantation for nearly 30 years, producing over 200 publications with continuous NIH (National Institutes of Health) and JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) funding and 13 issued patents to date in the area of islet transplantation. Collaborative studies with the late Paul E. Lacy, MD, PhD, pioneered much of the early progress in islet transplantation.
He left the university and joined Neocrin Company in 1994 as Executive Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer, and Chief Medical Officer to develop encapsulated islet xeno-transplantation technology into a clinical product.
In 1999, Dr. Scharp co-founded Novocell, Inc. and developed a conformal PEG coating of human islets as an allograft product without requiring long term immunosuppression. Research and Development studies progressed from rodents through diabetic non-human primate models showing long term encapsulated islet allografts function without immunosuppression. A clinical trial IND for encapsulated human islet allografts was accepted by the FDA in 2005.
In 2006, Dr. Scharp left Novocell and founded Prodo Laboratories, Inc. and Invenio Institute, a not-for-profit California public benefit company focused on performing diabetes research. Invenio Institute later changed its name to The Scharp-Lacy Research Institute. Prodo Labs provides high quality human islets to both corporate and academic diabetes researchers on a global basis having delivered over 16 million human islets in the last three years. The companies are also pursuing research into human islet cell expansion, islet encapsulation, and other diabetes products.