We have many reasons to celebrate in the type 1 diabetes (T1D) community. First and foremost, we celebrate YOU. Your support of our efforts is inseparable from the tremendous progress we’ve seen in accelerating cures, improving lives, and advocating for people with T1D and their loved ones.
We celebrate the impact and influence that you have made in research and advocacy to make a difference for members of the T1D community every single day. Here are some examples of how far we’ve come during the past year toward creating a world without T1D:
First Disease-Modifying Therapy Gets Approved
In a historic moment for T1D—and one that JDRF had a hand in from the beginning, supporting research from the 1980s on—the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Tzield™ (teplizumab-mzwv) for use in delaying the onset of clinical disease in at-risk individuals aged 8+. For the first time in history, Tzield will treat the autoimmune process behind T1D, altering the course of the disease. This is the first disease-modifying therapy—treatments that can slow, halt, or reverse the course of the disease—for T1D to be approved, but it won’t be the last. This breakthrough and others like it put us on the pathway to finding cures and, one day, preventing T1D entirely.
Making Insulin Affordable and Accessible for All Americans
With JDRF and healthcare organizations’ support, Civica—a nonprofit pharmaceutical company—will manufacture and distribute three biosimilar insulins at $30 a vial or $55 for a box of 5 pens starting in 2024, regardless of insurance status. This will significantly lower the cost for millions of Americans and—most importantly—save lives. In addition, JDRF advocates played a role in getting the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law, which caps the cost of insulin at $35 per month and removes insulin from the annual deductible for people on Medicare insurance.
Accelerating Cures with Stem Cell-Based Therapies
Joining forces in the quest for cures, Vertex has acquired ViaCyte, bringing together two of the biggest companies pursuing stem cell-based therapies for diabetes and allowing them to combine their resources, technologies, and more. JDRF has been funding stem cell research advanced by both companies since the early 2000s. Vertex is now advancing a stem cell-derived islet replacement therapy for T1D. Grounded in the work of JDRF-funded researcher Douglas Melton, Ph.D., it’s in human clinical trials and showing amazing results, with one participant being off insulin entirely.
T1D Index: A First-of-its-Kind Lifesaving Tool
JDRF and other T1D-related organizations launched the T1D Index, a first-of-its-kind data simulation tool that offers the most accurate estimate of T1D ever created. The Index measures and maps how many people live with this condition in every country, the healthy years of life it takes from people living with T1D, the number of people who would still be alive today if they hadn’t died prematurely from T1D complications, and our global strategy to reduce the impact of T1D.
Regulatory Approval of Several T1D Therapies and Technologies
JDRF funds research to facilitate the development of new therapies and technologies to make day-to-day life with T1D easier, safer, and healthier. In the past year, we had a lot to be thankful for:
- Insulet Omnipod 5, the first tubeless artificial pancreas system, for ages 2+
- Abbott FreeStyle® Libre 3 continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system for ages 4+
- Senseonics Eversense® E3 CGM system, the first long-term implantable CGM, for ages 18+
A New Tool to Accurately Diagnose Type 1 in Adults
Misdiagnosing adults with T1D as having T2D is an all-too-common problem that can have tragic consequences, so JDRF and IQVIA teamed up to develop an algorithm using artificial intelligence to identify people with T1D but misdiagnosed as T2D. The model can look at medical records and identify individuals who are diagnosed with T2D but actually have T1D, which could be used in real time to correct misdiagnoses, offering the potential for future development into a clinical decision support tool.
Your partnership is inseparable from these advances and many more. On behalf of our community, thank you for going forward—for more progress, more advancements, and more access—for everyone impacted by T1D.
We are excited for the progress that awaits us in 2023!