The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) announced today an innovative program aimed at improving the treatment of type 1 diabetes by developing novel insulin delivery products to enhance the use of insulin pumps.
Through the program, JDRF will support BD’s research and development of new products that deliver insulin from a pump to a patient in either an infusion set or patch-pump configuration. Research indicates that there are significant opportunities to enhance pump therapy by improving convenience as well as minimizing pain, kinking, occlusions and site infections. An additional goal of the program is improving the speed at which insulin works. These enhancements are intended to improve how people with diabetes control their insulin therapy and have a positive impact on their overall level of glycemic control.
“Better control means better health outcomes for people with diabetes,” said Alan Lewis, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of JDRF. “Constantly improving the technological tools to dispense insulin will lead to greater adoption of these methods and healthier lives. That’s why we view this collaboration with BD as vital to our goal to provide a bridge to the cure for type 1 diabetes.”
The JDRF will invest $4.3 million in milestone-based financial support over the next few years for these projects.
“Providing reliable, convenient and cost-effective insulin delivery options is vital to helping people manage diabetes,” said Linda Tharby, President, BD Medical – Diabetes Care. “This collaboration with JDRF demonstrates BD’s commitment to leveraging our expertise as a leader in insulin injection and acute care infusion to improve the patient experience for insulin pump users.”
The evaluation of new delivery technologies, including BD microneedles, will be an important objective of this program. Microneedles are tiny needles that deliver insulin just beneath the skin, increasing the speed of insulin uptake and may be virtually pain free. Microdelivery technology development will focus on improved glucose control and ultimately the use of the technology as a critical element of closed-loop artificial pancreas systems. One day these systems might sense blood glucose levels and automatically administer the proper dosage of insulin in response.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and kills off the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, a hormone that enables people to convert food into energy. It affects children, adolescents and adults.
To manage this disease, people with type 1 diabetes need to measure their blood sugar and pump or inject insulin throughout the day to keep blood sugar levels within a healthy range. This daily routine continues for life because insulin does not cure diabetes.
According to JDRF’s estimates, approximately 400,000 of the 3 million people in the United States with type 1 diabetes use insulin pumps, which became commercially available in the 1980s. Pumps offer flexibility and precision in controlling diabetes, which is a constant challenge for someone with diabetes. In fact, research shows that most people with diabetes spend the majority of the day with blood sugar levels outside recommended ranges, which can lead to devastating and costly short- and long-term complications.
About JDRF’s Artificial Pancreas Project
The JDRF/BD research program is among the first major non-exclusive industry initiatives of the JDRF Artificial Pancreas Project. JDRF last week announced that it is partnering with Animas Corporation, a Johnson & Johnson company, in a non-exclusive four-year program to develop a first-generation artificial pancreas system. The eventual, ultimate goal of the JDRF Artificial Pancreas Project is speeding the development of fully automated diabetes management systems.
An artificial pancreas would measure blood sugar through a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) which continuously reads the glucose levels through a hair-thin tube inserted just below the skin, typically on the stomach. The CGM would beam those readings to an insulin pump. In an advanced system, the pump would house a sophisticated computer program that would automatically calculate the necessary amount of insulin, based on the CGM’s glucose readings, and deliver the right amount of insulin.
The development of an artificial pancreas system is an essential step toward an ultimate cure for type 1 diabetes – a “bridge to a cure.”
More information about the JDRF Artificial Pancreas Project is available at www.jdrf.org/artificialpancreasproject. The site includes information for people with type 1 diabetes about research leading to the development of an artificial pancreas, as well as interactive tools, project timelines, chats with researchers, and access to information about clinical trials.
JDRF is a global leader in research leading to better treatments and cures for type 1 diabetes. It sets the global agenda for diabetes research, and is the largest charitable funder and advocate of diabetes science worldwide.
BD is a leading global medical technology company that develops, manufactures and sells medical devices, instrument systems and reagents. The Company is dedicated to improving people’s health throughout the world. BD is focused on improving drug delivery, enhancing the quality and speed of
diagnosing infectious diseases and cancers, and advancing research, discovery and production of new drugs and vaccines. BD’s capabilities are instrumental in combating many of the world’s most pressing diseases. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, BD employs approximately 29,000 associates in approximately 50 countries throughout the world. The Company serves healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, the pharmaceutical industry and the general public. For more information, please visit www.bd.com.