Top Researchers Gather in Berlin for the 54th European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting

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For 54 years, leading researchers from around the world have discussed the latest diabetes advances at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD). At this year’s meeting, from October 1-5 in Berlin, more than 45 studies were presented by JDRF researchers, funded now or in the past, working to cure, prevent and treat type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Among the advances featured this year was a new JDRF-funded study, published in The Lancet, which shows closed loop “artificial pancreas” insulin delivery systems offer better glucose control and reduced risk of hypoglycemia compared with sensor-augmented pump therapy. Among study participants, the proportion of time that glucose was in target range was significantly higher in the closed loop group (65 percent) compared with the control group (54 percent).

JDRF Research Director Daniel Finan, Ph.D., called the study “significant in that it adds to the ever-growing body of evidence showing that closed loop insulin delivery systems improve outcomes and reduce burden for people with type 1 diabetes.”

Research for the study was conducted by Roman Hovorka, Ph.D., and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories, the Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, U.K. In this video, hear Professor Hovorka discuss what the exciting results mean for the T1D community.

Other highlights of JDRF-funded research shared at the conference included:

  • JDRF-funded scientist Roy Beck, Ph.D., presented data from a T1D Exchange study of healthy people without diabetes, which helps define what a “normal” glucose range is. The work is showing that perhaps “normal” glucose varies over a broader range than we previously appreciated and will serve as an important step toward benchmarking continuous glucose monitor (CGM) outcomes for T1D management.
  • In clinical trials of sotagliflozin (Zynquista™), which blocks both SGLT-1 and SGLT-2, 89 percent of people with T1D who were randomized to sotagliflozin said they wanted to remain on the study medication. We hope that this is taken into account when it comes down to its approval in the spring! In 2015, JDRF jointly funded a phase II clinical trial to test sotagliflozin in young adults, and showed that the drug had several benefits in T1D, above and beyond reductions in HbA1c.
  • Bruce Perkins, M.D., M.P.H., a JDRF grantee since 2001, presented on EASE-2 and EASE-3 studies of empagliflozin (Jardiance®), a SGLT-1 inhibitor, in T1D, showing that there was an absence of increased diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) risk with the lowest dose of empagliflozin. When will empagliflozin be submitted for approval? Time will tell.

Throughout the event, updates from Berlin were shared on the @JDRFResearch Twitter page. Visit the page for video recaps and links to the important research advances presented this year at EASD.

By Ayana Young