In an overwhelming vote, the U.S. Senate approved a two-year extension of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP)—an initiative that accounts for roughly one-third of all federally-funded type 1 diabetes (T1D) research in the United States.
“JDRF staff and our network of advocacy leaders and passionate volunteers all across the U.S. work tirelessly every day to create a world without type 1 diabetes,” said Derek Rapp, JDRF President and CEO. “This critical two-year renewal of the Special Diabetes Program continues important funding momentum for groundbreaking diabetes research—an investment that will not only improve the lives and health of millions of Americans, but will also save the U.S. healthcare system billions of dollars in the long run. JDRF is so grateful for the bipartisan leadership shown across the aisle on both sides of the Capitol, and for the government’s understanding of how crucial it is to continue support for this initiative’s promising research which will help us achieve our vision of a world without type 1 diabetes.”
This is very exciting as with a two-year renewal, SDP-funded researchers across the country will be able to continue promising clinical trials that are leading to improved therapies and ultimately a cure for T1D. T1D is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, rendering millions of Americans dependent on insulin injections and 24/7 vigilance to survive. The SDP has led to groundbreaking discoveries and new treatments that are improving the lives of people with both T1D and type 2 diabetes, demonstrating a strong return on the Federal investment.
This latest extension of the SDP, which will now run through September 2017, has been a top focus of advocacy efforts by JDRF, the largest charitable supporter of T1D research worldwide. Among other advances, SDP funding will help advance research to prevent the disease. Additionally, the SDP has accelerated the development of artificial pancreas technologies, led to the discovery of a drug that can help reverse vision loss in people with diabetic eye disease, and launched a trial to test a therapy with potential to prevent diabetic kidney failure.