JDRF Launches Early-Stage Investment Fund to Catalyze Development of Commercial Type 1 Diabetes Therapies

JDRF T1D Fund starts with $42 million of commitments
Brings a venture philanthropy model to the fight against type 1 diabetes

San Francisco, January 26, 2017 — JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, today announced the launch of the JDRF T1D Fund, a new venture philanthropy vehicle. It is the first and largest investment vehicle devoted to identifying and funding the best early-stage high impact T1D commercial opportunities in active partnership with venture and industry capital sources.

The JDRF T1D Fund launches with a $32 million investment commitment from JDRF, plus approximately $10 million in pre-launch contributions from donors as it formally launches its fundraising and partnership outreach program. Unveiled at the annual JDRF Mission Summit in San Francisco today, the Fund initially targets raising $80 million in the next two years, and will focus on investments in companies committed to accelerating efforts to cure, treat and prevent T1D. The Fund sees its best early opportunities in the areas of artificial pancreas, metabolic control, encapsulation and replacement, prevention, and restoration therapies.

“Research advances in T1D are accelerating at an unprecedented pace,” said Jon Behr, Managing Director, JDRF T1D Fund. “T1D research is at a critical inflection point, and the T1D Fund has been created to catalyze major investment in the commercialization of the great research discoveries of the last decade. We believe this disciplined and focused effort is essential to our mission of curing, treating and preventing T1D.”

The goal of the JDRF T1D Fund is to make the case to donors and to venture, corporate and foundation capital sources that attractive investment opportunities with high impact exist in the T1D space. Partnering with the T1D Fund can de-risk these opportunities by providing access to JDRF’s unmatched breadth of scientific and clinical trial knowledge and its regulatory and reimbursement expertise.

T1D is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone people need to get energy from food. There are 1.25 million Americans currently living with the disease, a figure that is expected to rise to 5 million by 2050. It causes dependence on injected or pumped insulin for life and carries the constant threat of devastating complications. There is currently no way to prevent or cure the disease.

Governed separately from JDRF, the T1D Fund is managed by Behr, who has strong experience in funding early stage companies, and is led by a seasoned independent board and investment committee. Structuring the Fund as a venture philanthropy vehicle allows it to concentrate all of its efforts in one disease state and also ensures that any realized gains will be recycled into the fund for re-deployment toward the mission, thus magnifying the impact of donor dollars.

“The T1D Fund will be the largest and most focused vehicle devoted exclusively to commercializing T1D therapies, devices, treatments, and vaccines,” said Derek Rapp, CEO of JDRF. “We believe The T1D Fund will speed the attainment of our goal to do the greatest good for the most people in the shortest time.” Rapp added that JDRF will continue its role as the global leader in T1D research across the full drug and device development pipeline, as well as its unique role in health policy, advocacy, and reimbursement.

Potential partners and donors can get more information by visiting www.jdrf.org or www.t1dfund.org, or contacting Emily Milligan at emilligan@jdrf.org.

About JDRF
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.org or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF.

Media Contacts:
Emily Milligan