After a type 1 diabetes (T1D) diagnosis, the first question that often comes to mind is, “Will there ever be a cure for type 1 diabetes?”
There is currently no type 1 diabetes cure. There is also currently no way to prevent its onset. But JDRF has a strategy to change this and we’re already seeing exciting results. Here’s how we’re transforming the future for everyone with T1D:
Curing T1D: Cell Therapies
The JDRF Cell Therapy Program invests in research and clinical trials to develop and deliver life-changing therapies that place healthy, insulin-producing cells back into the bodies of people with T1D. The program has three goals that identify the gaps we’re filling to make a type 1 diabetes cure a reality:
- Develop a reliable beta cell source so that there are enough cells for every person with T1D to get this treatment.
- Find ways to support the beta cells so they stay healthy and functional in the body for an infinite amount of time.
- Shield the beta cells from immune attack to prevent the need for additional immunosuppressive drugs.
Learn more about JDRF’s research advancements in cell therapies.
Halting, Preventing, and Reversing T1D: Disease-Modifying Therapies
JDRF is also focused on developing drugs that change the course of T1D for everyone affected by it—and those yet to be. That means slowing or halting the progression of the disease, preventing it from ever occurring, and reversing it entirely.
In November 2022, the FDA approved Tzield, the first disease-modifying drug for individuals at risk of developing T1D (those who have tested positive for T1D antibodies). The therapy changes the disease’s course by delaying the onset of T1D for approximately two years. This is a tremendous leap forward for T1D and autoimmune research and a step closer towards type 1 diabetes cures.
Learn more about JDRF’s progress in disease-modifying therapies.
Better Health Outcomes: Global Universal Screening
Screening is another key component of using research to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. Thanks to JDRF-funded research, we have a better understanding of the human immune system. We can now identify a person’s risk for T1D many years before the onset of symptoms through a simple blood test that detects T1D autoantibodies, an established marker of risk of developing the disease. This makes it possible to prevent serious illness, like diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), that often comes with a type 1 diabetes diagnosis.
By identifying more people in the early stages of T1D through screening, researchers can learn more about the progression of the disease and how to delay and prevent it from occurring. It’s another important step towards type 1 diabetes cures.
Learn more about the important role screening plays in achieving a world without T1D.
Improving Lives Today and Tomorrow for Everyone with T1D
While our focus is on finding cures for type 1 diabetes, we’re also in constant pursuit of new treatments to keep people with T1D healthy until that day comes.
Drugs and Devices
Technology has changed the way we live with T1D. Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), insulin pumps, and artificial pancreas systems have made managing the disease easier. Next-generation insulins have the potential to work faster and automatically respond to changes in blood glucose. JDRF continues to invest in innovative research and technology to improve outcomes and quality of life for people with T1D while we pursue cures for type 1 diabetes.
Learn more about JDRF’s progress in developing drugs and devices for glucose control.
Outside of the research lab, we push for increased government funding for research. We also work with academia, clinicians, insurers, and regulators to get new therapies and devices to market quickly and safely, and ensure they’re covered by payers.
Learn more about JDRF’s advocacy initiatives.
We’re closer than ever to freeing people with T1D from the burden of the disease. JDRF exists to find type 1 diabetes cures, and we will not stop working until that goal is achieved.
Living with the burden of T1D can be overwhelming at times, but you’re never alone. The JDRF community has your back. Connect with us at https://www.jdrf.org/community/.