Our Glucose Control and Artificial Pancreas Programs tackle blood-glucose control head on. Managing insulin alone won’t achieve perfect control. So we’re investigating how managing other hormones or repurposing drugs approved for other uses can work with insulin to improve control. Artificial pancreas technology will improve control by automating blood-glucose sensing and insulin delivery. Tighter control reduces complications and eliminates the need to think about blood-sugar levels, insulin dosing and carbohydrate counting.
Beta cell encapsulation therapy holds the promise of eliminating the need for daily insulin treatment for up to 24 months through a small implant. The researchers and partners we support through our Encapsulation Program are testing multiple efforts to perfect cell replacement therapies, including the development of materials to protect the cells and discovery of new replacement cell sources. We think for people with T1D who are on duty all day every day just to stay alive, encapsulation will sure feel like a cure.
We refuse to accept the idea that people with T1D must live in fear of life-threatening diabetic complications. Our Complications Program seeks to better understand how diabetic kidney and eye diseases start so we can stop them in their tracks. Of course, the best way to ward off complications is to protect people from the disease entirely.
Our Prevention Program’s primary goal is to develop a universal childhood vaccine that prevents the autoimmune attack on insulin-producing cells. As we work toward that goal, we’re also pursuing secondary prevention therapies that will prevent people from becoming dependent on insulin therapy once T1D is diagnosed.
Our Restoration Program is attempting to do something that has never been done before—prevent, halt or reverse an autoimmune disease and return normal function of the beta cells.
We know it won’t be easy. It will take time and require a significant financial investment. But we want it all: a biological cure for T1D, transformational treatments that improve lives now and prevention so that future generations never know T1D. JDRF is turning Type One into Type None.