Drugs and Devices for Glucose Control

Today’s therapies to manage T1D save lives, but achieving tight control over blood-glucose levels remains a daily challenge for those living with type 1 diabetes (T1D). The Improving Lives Program is committed to making the management of T1D much better and safer through groundbreaking research and clinical trials that aim to develop new drugs and devices to help people keep their blood-sugar levels within a healthy range more of the time, with less work. 


Our Approach

Insulin therapy must be calculated carefully, based on food intake, exercise, stress, illness, and other (often unpredictable) factors. As a result, people with T1D spend hours a day with blood-sugar levels outside the recommended range, putting them at risk for dangerous high- and low-blood-sugar episodes. Our goal is to make T1D easier—and less burdensome—to live with.

Program Goals

Create next-generation insulins, including:

• Glucose-responsive insulin (GRI) that automatically responds to changes in blood glucose.

• Ultra-rapid insulin (URI) that works faster, more closely mimicking the insulin naturally produced in the pancreas. 

• Liver-targeted insulin (LTI) that gets to the liver where it can be more effective. 

Discover combination therapies—using insulin and other drugs—to dramatically improve daily blood-sugar management, including:

• Insulin and pramlintide co-formulations, which have the potential to be more effective than insulin alone.

• SGLT inhibitors, which are approved for use in type 2 diabetes (and, in Europe and Japan, for T1D).

• GLP-1 category drugs,such as semaglutide, that are also approved for use in type 2 diabetes.

Support the development of better, smaller devices that improve on current state, including:

•  Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) with continuous ketone monitoring.

• Smaller, easier to wear CGMs and insulin pumps.

•  Improved algorithms.


May 27

Tidepool, a JDRF-funded nonprofit organization, submitted their Tidepool Loop to the FDA

Tidepool Loop is an algorithm through an app designed to automatically deliver insulin to people with T1D through a system of connected insulin pumps and CGMs. Learn More
May 27

SFC Fluidics, a JDRF partner, receives Breakthrough Device designation

The product is in late-stage development and submission for clearance is expected in 2021. The development of SFC’s interoperable pump was partly funded by JDRF.

Learn More

May 1

Multiple artificial pancreas devices approved for use in pediatrics

Tandem Control-IQ and Medtronic 770G are both approved for use in children after demonstrating benefits in clinical trials.

Learn More

May 27

JDRF researchers launch a clinical trial for triple therapy in T1D

Trial combines insulin, GLP-1, and SGLT.

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January 1

SGLT Inhibitors Approved for use in T1D in Europe and Japan

Europe and Japan approve SGLT inhibitors with insulin for use in treating T1D.

Learn More

Looking ahead

One day, thanks to improved insulin formulations and other drugs and devices, staying within ideal blood-sugar range is no longer a challenge.

Want to learn more? View JDRF Scientist Jonathan Rosen, Ph.D., as he explains JDRF’s efforts in this area.