We recently announced that JDRF was partnering with InnoCentive to find a better way to treat diabetes using a glucose-responsive insulin drug. We asked Dr. Sanjoy Dutta, Director of Glucose Control at JDRF to tell us a bit about this Challenge and the overall state of diabetes treatment today.
Thank you for joining us today, Sanjoy. Can you tell us a little bit about JDRF and the role you play in combating type 1 diabetes?
JDRF is committed to curing, treating, and preventing type 1 diabetes. While we work toward a cure, we strive to help people with type 1 diabetes live better, longer, healthier lives – people at all ages and at all stages of the disease. They are the reason JDRF exists, and remain at the forefront of everything we do.
A vital part of the fight against type 1 diabetes is developing better treatments to help people live better with the disease while we search for cures and preventions. And that is why JDRF is taking strides to make managing the disease better, safer, more efficient – because it’s not an easy disease to live with.
JDRF is the largest charitable funder and advocate of diabetes science worldwide, and since our founding in 1970, we’ve awarded more than $1.5 billion to diabetes research. In fact, more than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education.
Your Challenge is seeking ideas for the development of glucose-responsive insulin. What is glucose-responsive insulin and what kind of impact would the discovery and development of glucose-responsive insulin have on people with diabetes?
JDRF is utilizing InnoCentive’s Challenge platform to create a tightly controlled, glucose-responsive insulin drug for patients with insulin-dependent diabetes. This will enable improved glucose control, decrease or eliminate the need to test or monitor blood glucose levels, improve quality of life for people with the disease, and reduce their chances of short- and long-term diabetic complications.
Such a glucose-responsive insulin holds the potential to transform the lives of the hundreds of millions of people with diabetes in the world who are dependent on insulin (both type 1 and type 2). Working only when the body needs it, glucose-responsive insulin would deliver the precise amount of insulin in response to circulating glucose levels, to control and maintain normal blood glucose levels throughout a daily routine, with once-daily or less frequent dosing in people with insulin-dependent diabetes. This novel form of insulin would not need to be calibrated with carbohydrates or blood glucose testing (compared to current administration of insulin multiple times or continuously in a day).
Currently, all insulin treatments for people with diabetes release the same amount of insulin at fixed times throughout the entire body. However, in people without diabetes, the body secretes insulin in proportion to local blood glucose levels, delivering it to the body’s tissues and organs at the appropriate times, according to their specific needs. This helps the person without diabetes to maintain a target blood glucose level throughout the day. Glucose-responsive insulin could therefore be a transformative solution, vastly improving the quality of life of people with insulin-dependent diabetes.
Can you talk about the larger universe of diabetes research? Will there ever be a cure for diabetes? (more…)