We have an ambitious goal—to restore the body’s ability to create insulin-producing beta cells in people with type 1 diabetes (T1D). The JDRF Beta Cell Regeneration Program aims to both find and develop treatments that maintain the health and function of beta cells, and to discover and provide therapies to generate new beta cells.
In T1D, beta cells are stressed, hastening the autoimmune process that leads to their death. Beta cells, however, can persist long after T1D diagnosis, and in certain situations the body can even regrow new beta cells. This gives JDRF-funded researchers tools to develop therapies that relieve beta cell stress and promote their survival and regrowth.
so people with T1D can live without lifelong external insulin
so the “honeymoon period” (immediately following diagnosis when the pancreas is still producing insulin) can last years or even decades
to reduce insulin dosage and improve outcomes
Our research into beta cell regeneration technologies is just one potential pathway to finding a cure for T1D. Explore JDRF’s ambitious research portfolio.
A partnership between JDRF and pharmaceutical company Novartis yields results that suggest new targets for the development of drugs to stimulate the creation of new beta cells.
JDRF-funded researchers stimulate pancreatic alpha cells to change into functional beta-like cells, with an eye toward potentially regenerating insulin-producing beta cell mass.
JDRF-funded investigators recruit 67 adults with new-onset T1D to treat them with the cancer drug Gleevec® (imatinib). Those treated with Gleevec® have better beta cell function and use lower insulin doses than the placebo group.
A JDRF-funded researcher identifies a blood pressure drug that looks very promising for T1D in clinical trials, showing that it helps to slow the progression of T1D.
To date, more than $190 million has been invested by JDRF in beta cell regeneration research. One day, T1D will become a reversible illness, without the threat of long- and short-term complications.