JDRF Played Critical Role in Key Advances Shared at the 79th Annual ADA Scientific Sessions

SAN FRANCISCO, June 17, 2019 — JDRF played a critical role in each of the four key advances in type 1 diabetes (T1D) research shared at this year’s 79th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

JDRF-funded researchers and partners unveiled significant developments toward both curing T1D and improving lives.

“This is really an amazing year for research progress, as we are making significant advances in our quest to find cures for type 1 diabetes,” said Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D., JDRF President and CEO. “This is a pivotal time for T1D research—and so many supporters are making this happen.”

The annual ADA event, held in San Francisco from June 7-11, is one of the world’s largest, most prominent meetings on diabetes, bringing together T1D experts from all over the world. JDRF leaders served as key presenters and the organization as a key funder of nearly all T1D researchers sharing advances.

Highlights included four presentations each critically backed by JDRF:

  • A new study showed that an immune therapy drug can significantly delay the onset of T1D—for an average of two years.
  • Use of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) during pregnancy was recommended by the ADA as important in helping ensure healthy results for both mother and child, citing the JDRF-funded CONCEPTT trial.
  • A new artificial pancreas system that both doses and withholds insulin at appropriate times showed critical benefits in helping those with T1D maintain more consistent, and healthier, glucose levels.
  • Two leading innovators in the T1D space—Tidepool and Medtronic—announced a collaborative partnership to create an interoperable automated insulin pump system.

Delaying T1D

Dr. Kevan Herold presented breaking results on a clinical trial conducted by TrialNet on the drug teplizumab, which is now being developed by Provention Bio. The drug was able to significantly delay—for over two years on average—the onset of T1D in participants with a high risk of developing the disease. The drug targets CD3, a blood marker that activates the immune system’s T cells, and suppresses the autoimmune response. Provention is currently testing the drug in a phase 3 clinical trial in people recently diagnosed with T1D. If successful, this could become the first immune therapy approved for T1D.

JDRF funded the first clinical trials of teplizumab, is a long-time funder of Kevan Herold’s research on T1D and is a key funder of TrialNet, the largest clinical trial network for T1D. Provention Bio is funded by investments from the JDRF T1D Fund.

“This research shows, for the first time, that we can change the course of type 1 diabetes,” said Kowalski. “Our goal of cures for T1D as well as for prevention is making real strides forward.”

ADA Recommends CGMs for Use During Pregnancy

The ADA Professional Practice Committee of diabetes experts supported the use of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) during pregnancy, saying that it improved HbA1c levels in pregnant women with T1D.

The recommendation supports a growing number of experts advocating for the benefits of CGMs during pregnancy. Previously, Australia and the United Kingdom advised that CGMs may be used to improve HbA1c outcomes in pregnant women with T1D.

JDRF was an early leader advocating for CGMs during this heightened time of physical change for the T1D female, and historically a time of concern for the health of both T1D mom and baby. JDRF supported CONCEPTT (Continuous Glucose Monitoring in Women with Type 1 Diabetes in Pregnancy Trial), showing that a CGM during and prior to pregnancy improves the health outcomes for both mothers and babies and reduces cost for neonatal hospitalization, an otherwise frequent occurrence. It was the CONCEPTT trial that made the ADA revise their recommendations.

“It is evident from the body of science, that the use of CGM’s during pregnancy is both safe and effective, also benefitting both mother and baby,” explains Nicole Johnson, JDRF National Director of Mission. “What an incredible gift CGM’s are to expectant mothers; the ability to easily monitor their blood sugar, stay healthier and provide a level of comfort essential in pregnancy.”

New, Advanced AP system

New artificial pancreas technology showed critical benefits for the T1D community in continual monitoring and control of glucose levels.

A clinical study presented results showing that the Tandem’s t:slim X2™ insulin pump with Control-IQ™ advanced hybrid closed-loop technology resulted in more time-in-range—fewer highs, fewer lows—with no severe hypoglycemic events.

Kowalski called the results “fantastic,” and said the potential for another artificial pancreas system for the T1D community is in sight.

The X2 insulin pump uses Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) to predict glucose levels and adjust insulin delivery. The system also automates correction boluses, a feature not commercially available today on automated insulin delivery devices.

Company leaders said they would share the study results with the FDA and hope to launch the device commercially later in the year.

JDRF was an early catalyst in creating the artificial pancreas systems, and has been an ongoing proponent and supporter, advocating for its coverage with insurance companies and use as a critical way to improve life with the T1D community. JDRF also has worked relentlessly with the FDA to pave a clear pathway to regulatory approval, and is a partner with Tandem and Dexcom.

New Partnership to Improve Pump Technology

Two leading innovators in the T1D space—Tidepool and Medtronic—announced a partnership to enable people with T1D to create their own automated insulin pump systems using devices from different companies.

Through the partnership, Medtronic pledged to develop a Bluetooth-enabled MiniMed™ pump that would be compatible with the Tidepool Loop, an open-source automated insulin delivery app seeking FDA approval and aimed for use with the iPhone and Apple Watch currently in development. Tidepool Loop is made by the nonprofit company, Tidepool.

“This is the first study to show any drug can delay type 1 diabetes diagnosis a median of 2 years in people at high risk,” explains TrialNet Teplizumab Prevention Study Chair Kevan Herold, M.D. “As anyone with type 1 diabetes will tell you, and particularly for children who are most commonly affected, every day you can delay this disease is important.”

JDRF is an early and ongoing supporter of Tidepool and was the first to bring about an Open Protocol initiative, which calls for T1D technologies to work together regardless of the manufacturer. JDRF has worked with the FDA to build understanding of Open Protocol and the need for FDA support in ensuring that safe compatible technologies are made available to the T1D community.

Other T1D researchers attending the event met with JDRF leadership and thanked JDRF donors for supporting their life-changing work.


About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2.2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.org or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF.


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