As 2015 draws to a close, JDRF is drawing closer to realizing our vision of a world without type 1 diabetes (T1D). We have driven real progress over the past year: redesigning insulin delivery equipment; attracting new investments in close-to-market diabetes therapies; advancing clinical trials of encapsulated cell therapies; discovering new triggers for beta cell replication; and defining a window of opportunity for delaying symptomatic T1D. Along with many other compelling research outcomes from 2015, these successes highlight our progress in advancing JDRF’s mission. To learn more about our research successes, watch this brief video.
An improved insulin infusion set is approved
In May 2015, BD Medical announced it had received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to begin manufacturing an improved insulin pump infusion set that reduces the number and duration of flow interruptions, providing more consistent and reliable insulin delivery. The new technology also causes less pain and tissue damage at the insertion site, addressing an unmet need for people with T1D. The infusion set was developed in collaboration with JDRF and The Helmsley Charitable Trust, and it’s scheduled to reach the market in early 2016. Find out more ways JDRF is working to improve the lives of people with T1D here.
AP system moves closer to market
The longest-running trial of a closed-loop artificial pancreas (AP) system wrapped up in November 2015. Trial participants successfully used the University of Virginia’s AP system under free-living conditions for six consecutive months. The results lay the groundwork for commercialization of the system, and members of the research team have formed TypeZero Technologies, a start-up company to move the technology to market. JDRF’s funding has attracted additional support for the next round of trials, slated to take place in early 2016, including a grant from the NIH announced in December. You can find more information about this AP system here and here.
Encapsulated cell therapy shows initial success
In September 2015, the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) announced an exciting early result from a clinical trial testing one component of its experimental beta cell replacement therapy (called BioHub). DRI reported that the first trial participant to receive an islet cell implant in a novel site of transplantation no longer required insulin and was doing well. Although the finding is preliminary and this phase of testing includes the use of immunosuppressive drugs, the initial success is encouraging and the complete results are eagerly anticipated. JDRF supports DRI’s work in collaboration with The Helmsley Charitable Trust. Learn more about beta cell replacement therapy here.
New progress toward beta cell restoration
Two studies published in April 2015 and October 2015 by JDRF-supported researchers point to a new pathway with the potential to restore human beta cells. Researchers at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, San Diego, CA, and at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, reported that two different types of compounds could encourage beta cells to replicate by targeting a certain signaling pathway. The discovery suggests that interfering with this pathway could eventually form the basis for new therapies to restore beta cells in individuals with T1D. You can read more details about the studies here.
Presymptomatic stages of T1D defined
October 2015 saw the publication of a classification system that characterizes the earliest stages of T1D. Developed by JDRF and other diabetes funders and organizations, this system recognizes that T1D starts before the onset of symptoms and enables more precise monitoring of disease progression and better design of clinical trials aimed at preventing symptomatic disease. The staging system also provides an opportunity to prevent severe symptoms such as diabetic ketoacidosis and improve outcomes for people with T1D. Read more about the staging system here.
Why It Matters
These and other research breakthroughs promise to change the realities of T1D for millions of people. We are creating a future without T1D, and you are the key to our success. When you support JDRF with your time, talent, voice and money, you enable us to advance even more life-changing research. Take action now.