JDRF-Helmsley Charitable Trust Collaboration

JDRF and the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, two of the largest non-government funders of type 1 diabetes (T1D) programs, teamed up in November to optimize their common efforts to improve the health of people living with the disease. Since 2007, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has provided financing to JDRF to fund or co-fund a number of projects. Now there’s a new collaborative agreement between the organizations with the goal of accelerating research and development to deliver better treatments, devices, and diagnostics for T1D.

“JDRF and the Helmsley Charitable Trust developed a close working relationship around type 1 diabetes projects over the past several years, highlighting our common commitment to this disease,” says Jeffrey Brewer, president and CEO of JDRF. “This new collaboration strengthens our existing relationship through information sharing, streamlining, and integrating funding strategies, and combining resources in those areas of type 1 diabetes where we have identified strong shared interests.”

The initial projects in this collaboration will focus on three areas of research, including generating a strategic plan called the T1D Clinical Development Research Roadmap, a Bioimaging Initiative, and a Glucose Sensor Initiative.

The T1D Clinical Development Research Roadmap is a comprehensive and objective strategic plan to identify therapeutic opportunities and fund clinical research involving individuals with established T1D. Both organizations are committed to delivering results that will directly improve the lives and outcomes of those with the disease. The resulting strategic plan will be shared with the T1D research and development communities to serve as a common resource.

The Bioimaging Initiative is intended to fund research that will develop new diagnostic technologies to noninvasively determine the presence and functional activity of insulin-producing beta cells in a person’s pancreas. Known as beta cell imaging, these technologies aim to overcome one of the key challenges in the T1D field—directly assessing the cells within the pancreas that are responsible for normal insulin production.

The Glucose Sensor Initiative is a project that is intended to develop and deliver more accurate and reliable sensors that would measure a person’s blood glucose levels on a continuous basis. Improved blood glucose sensors will enable people with T1D to make better insulin-dosing decisions based on more accurate and reliable blood glucose measurements. Building upon the successes of current continuous glucose monitoring technologies, this initiative seeks to advance these sensors to the next generation.

The JDRF-Helmsley Charitable Trust collaboration is designed to complement existing programs for each organization. Both organizations will continue to provide, manage, and maintain independent research funding efforts.