Bringing Breakthroughs to Life Since 1970

JDRF’s Track Record of Research Success

JDRF has been finding, funding, and connecting the best type 1 diabetes (T1D) research around the world for over 50 years. As a result, we have supported almost every key T1D research breakthrough since our inception. Our sustained investment in focused areas, our strategic partnerships with industry, and our drive to accelerate progress has led to transformational change and exponential investments by other sources of support in many areas of T1D research.

JDRF has opened up countless windows of opportunity in T1D research, and brought multiple new drugs, devices or clinical tools into the hands of people with T1D and their healthcare providers. A few highlights include:

Cell Therapies

Without JDRF, the idea of replacing insulin-producing cells in people with T1D would likely still be a pipe dream. But over the past decades, JDRF’s vision and belief in the possibilities in this area of research has accelerated progress so that multiple candidate cure therapies are now already in human clinical trials.

  • JDRF supported work that led to the world’s first islet transplantation in the 1990s, as well as the team that developed the Edmonton protocol published in 2000.
  • JDRF later funded pre-clinical studies showing that human stem cells could be turned into insulin-producing beta cells suitable for transplantation in the lab, and the first-in-human clinical trials testing prototype stem cell-based cures for T1D.
  • Given the promise of this work, multiple companies are now invested in this area, while academic research continues to generate new knowledge.
  • JDRF convenes researchers and companies to share data and challenges twice a year through the JDRF Beta Cell Replacement Consortium, which is one of many ways that JDRF is encouraging global collaboration.

These collective efforts to make beta cell replacement a reality means that people with T1D could soon be freed from their blood glucose monitors and insulin injections for years, or even decades.

Diabetes Devices

Did you know that JDRF had a key role in developing the devices that benefit you or your family member with T1D today?

  • JDRF funded multiple landmark studies of continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) that proved their effectiveness and helped to justify their coverage by payers or governments in a number of countries.
  • JDRF also supported CONCEPTT, a crucial trial of CGMs in pregnancy that showed improved outcomes for T1D mothers and their newborn babies.
  • JDRF collaborated with regulators to create a roadmap for artificial pancreas development that reduced the approval timeline for these devices by several years.
  • JDRF’s Open Protocol Initiative, launched in 2016, increased interoperability between devices by encouraging manufacturers to develop devices with open software.
  • JDRF continues to partner with industry to propel new solutions to market that will improve the usability and accessibility of these systems while also expanding patient choice.

Future JDRF-funded research on devices will work to further automate insulin delivery, dramatically reducing both T1D-related risks and the management burden for people living with the disease.

T1D Prevention

Preventing T1D is the fastest route to cure – and with JDRF’s investment, this ideal is now within reach.

  • JDRF has provided funding to TrialNet, enabling screening and clinical trials of preventive therapies for close family members of people with T1D.
  • JDRF has also supported multiple pre-clinical studies and clinical trials of preventive therapies, including development of T1D vaccines and a trial of the drug teplizumab that showed up to 3 years delayed onset of T1D in people at high risk of the disease.
  • JDRF has been part of work seeking improved biomarkers of T1D risk, and in advocating to regulators on the development of a framework for approval of T1D preventive therapies.
  • Support of multiple screening studies by JDRF around the world is paving the way to identify people at risk of T1D so that they can be treated to fully prevent the disease.

These efforts have helped to create a market for preventive therapies in the past decade – a market into which substantial industry investment is now flowing.

With sustained investment in research, we will soon be able to stop the T1D before it starts, and the disease as we know it today – will become a thing of the past.