Cookies on the JDRF website

Our website uses cookies to make your experience as great as possible. By continuing to use the website, we will assume that you agree to the use of cookies on the website. However, if you would like to change your cookie settings, please visit the website of The Information Commissioner's Office to find out how to control or delete cookies on your browser.

All news

Find out the latest news about JDRF's research and fundraising events.

Displaying September 2011


JDRF knows Amelia Lily has the X Factor!

16 year old Amelia Lily, is a contestant in this year's X Factor. She has type 1 diabetes and has talked openly about her journey living with the condition. JDRF sent a card with our best wishes and many good luck messages from supporters to Amelia and she has let us know that she received them on Twitter. She was moved and delighted to have support from the type 1 diabetes community.

As the competition continues, we want to wish Amelia the best of luck now that she has reached the stage where contestants visit the judges houses. You can follow JDRF on Twitter @JDRFUK. Come and join in the conversation!


Driving licence changes

We know that many of you are worried about changes to assessment for driving licences for people with type 1 that have recently been brought in following the implementation of a European Union Directive. Concerns have been raised about possible interpretations and assessment of "disabling hypoglycaemia" and awareness of hypoglycaemia, which could make it harder for some people who inject insulin to get a driving licence, or have it renewed.

We have discussed these concerns with Diabetes UK, which has been consulting with DVLA and other European diabetes organisations, and offered our full support in raising the issue with the UK Government and within the EU.

You can find out more about Diabetes UK's work on changes to driving licence assessment here. 


Help Diabeates campaign takes new approach to diabetes research

‘Help Diabeates’ is a new campaign organised by the Diabetes Research Network (DRN). Launching today, the campaign aims to encourage people with diabetes to give permission to be approached about taking part in clinical research studies.

The campaign is taking place over the next 18 months in three areas of England: the North West, the South West, and the North East area of London. 
The research that patients could take part in is approved by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and aims to improve the treatment diabetes patients receive now and in the future.

Professor David Matthews, Co-Director of the Diabetes Research Network and Professor of Diabetes Medicine at The Oxford Centre for Diabetes said: “This is a refreshing approach to recruit patients to a ‘consent for approach’ database. It means that diabetes patients are agreeing to be contacted in the future if a study becomes available which might suit them. It also means that clinical trials can be set up much faster which is ideal for diabetes research.”

If you are interested in getting involved, you can text ‘research’ and your name to 81400 or visit their website. You would then be contacted by an NHS call centre to discuss how you might be able to help with research projects in the future. At this point individuals can decide if they want to be included on the ‘consent for approach’ database.

You can also follow updates on the campaign on Twitter @helpdiabeates.


Supplies of Apidra insulin

Sanofi aventis, the company which makes a form of insulin called Apidra (insulin glulisine), have had a production problem at their factory. This has meant that the usual supplies of this insulin have not been manufactured. As a result of this some patients may have a problem obtaining supplies of Apidra. Sanofi aventis has solved the problem, but it is likely to be December before normal supply is resumed.

What to do if you use Apidra insulin?

If you do use Apidra Insulin, sanofi aventis has asked for you to take the below steps.

  • To help make sure that as many patients as possible can obtain the medicines they need, please don’t ask your doctor or nurse for a new prescription of Apidra until you are reaching the end of your own supply.
  • When you have a prescription, take this to the pharmacy as you usually do. Your pharmacist will do everything they can to fulfil your prescription. If this is not possible, your pharmacist will speak to your doctor to let them know that your usual insulin is not available. Your doctor or nurse will then look at what other insulin may be suitable for you as a temporary measure until Apidra is available again. Your pharmacist might be able to supply this after speaking with the doctor, or they might ask you to go back to see your doctor before a choice is made.

If you still need more information, sanofi aventis has a 24 hour-a-day Patient Support Line. The Support Line will be able to help with any questions you may have, and will have up-to-date information as to when Apidra will be available again. The phone number for the Patient Support Line is: 0845 606 6887


London's Walk to Cure Diabetes

JDRF would like to thank all the children, families and friends who came out to walk and run to cure diabetes in Regents Park on Saturday 10th September.

We are incredibly sorry to discover that a number of people have contracted mild food poisoning as a result of the complimentary hot lunch provided to all of our participants. We are taking this matter very seriously and have contacted the company responsible for providing the food and the necessary authorities to report the incident.

JDRF would like to apologise for any discomfort caused to any of our supporters and if you would like to contact us regarding this or any aspect of the Walk to Cure Diabetes please don't hesitate to call Hannah, Jen and Hannah of the Greater London team on 020 7713 2039. 


JDRF and InnoCentive Challenge calls for ideas for a glucose-responsive insulin

JDRF has partnered with InnoCentive Inc, a pioneer in crowdsourcing, to announce a $100,000 Challenge calling for innovative ways to approach the discovery and development of a glucose-responsive insulin drug as a treatment for type 1.

Through this challenge, JDRF’s ultimate goal is to discover a glucose-responsive insulin drug that would work only when the body needs it. Glucose-responsive insulin would deliver the precise amount of insulin needed in response to circulating glucose levels, and would control and maintain normal blood glucose levels throughout a daily routine with once-daily or less frequent need for insulin injections or pump infusions.

JDRF is appealing to InnoCentive’s Global Solver Community to uncover solutions for a transformative and sophisticated insulin drug. This Challenge is open to anyone with a solution that fits the published criteria, and requires only a written proposal. Submissions for this Challenge will be accepted through November 9, 2011. The winning solution could then be further developed into a research proposal, giving the winner a change to become a member of the team who will put the idea into practice.

The Challenge is open to the public. More details can be found on the InnoCentive website. 


Checklist of 15 ‘must have’ services for people with type 1 to stay healthy, launched by Diabetes UK

In response to recent figures showing a gap in the care people with type 1 diabetes are receiving, Diabetes UK has sent out a call encouraging people with type 1 to make sure they are receiving appropriate care and the best treatments available to protect themselves from developing the complications of the condition in the future.

As part of the 15 checks, the charity highlighted the importance for people with type 1 to get their vision checked annually using retinal screening, to ensure they don’t develop diabetic retinopathy. They also encouraged people to have their kidney functions monitored, to request specific care plans that are tailored to individuals needs, to get their legs and feet checked and also to get emotional and psychological support.

We fully support Diabetes UK’s campaign to ensure people with the condition have access to the care services they require, whilst we fund research to develop better treatments, prevent complications and ultimately find the cure. The work they do in encouraging people with type 1 diabetes to keep healthy is vital. 

Visit our website, to learn more about the research we are doing to understand and prevent the complications of type 1 diabetes. 


Are we beating diabetic retinopathy?

The incidence of one of the most common complications of type 1 diabetes appears to be in decline, according to researchers in Finland.

Led by Dr Per-Henrik Groop from Helsinki University Central Hospital, the team studied the rate of severe retinopathy in people with type 1 diabetes diagnosed between 1939 and 2005. They grouped 3,781 patients from Finland according to the year they were diagnosed: before 1975, 1975-1979, 1980-1984 and 1985 and after. Severe retinopathy was assessed according to how many laser treatments patients had received.

The results, published in the September issue of Diabetes Care, reveal a decreasing incidence of severe diabetic retinopathy after 20-30 years of type 1 diabetes. People born in the 1980s were almost 50 per cent less likely to have had severe retinopathy after 20 years than people born in the 1970s or earlier.

Much of this improvement can be attributed to advances in the detection and treatment of retinopathy. The earliest groups may also have had much poorer glucose control earlier in their lives.

JDRF is committed to beating the complications of type 1 diabetes, including diabetic retinopathy. We want to make sure that people with type 1 diabetes stay as healthy as possible while we search for the cure. Through research funded by JDRF, we are now better able to diagnose, treat and prevent the complications of type 1 diabetes. 

Read more about JDRF complications research. 


Scientists discover molecules that control insulin production

Some of JDRF’s most exciting research is exploring how to regenerate the cells which no longer produce insulin in people with type 1 diabetes. By working together with the pharmaceutical company Roche, JDRF-funded scientists have announced two new discoveries; a protein that controls how insulin-producing beta cells grow in the pancreas, and a chemical that can encourage this growth.

The study, which was led by Dr Markus Stoffel, a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, builds on a discovery made just five years ago. Dr. Stoffel and his team first showed that a previously unknown protein, called Tmem27, is situated on the surface of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Through tests conducted on mice, they found that increasing the levels of Tmem27 on beta cells meant that the number of beta cells increased.

After screening possible molecules that might be destroying the Tmem27 protein in people who develop type 1, Dr. Stoffel and his team found the culprit: Bace2. This is an enzyme that, like Tmem27, also resides on the outer surface of the beta cell. The researchers found that mice lacking Bace2 had larger islets and that their beta cells were actually regenerating. 
Dr. Stoffel and his team next aimed to stop Bace2 from being active in an effort to control and promote the growth of beta cells. To do so, they teamed up with scientists at Roche who developed a chemical compound that could inhibit Bace2. When the scientists gave this compound to mice, they saw that it stopped Bace2 and stimulated the growth of new beta cells. Importantly, this means that Bace2 can control the Tmem27 protein, suggesting the potential for developing a Bace2 inhibitor as a new diabetes therapy. 
This is exciting research, and the findings mean there is potential for a drug to be developed that promotes the growth of beta cells in people with type 1. Visit the research section on our website, to find out more about JDRF beta cell research.


Be part of the Big Give Christmas Challenge!

Although it is only autumn, we want to turn your attention to the festive period early, as we are delighted to have been chosen to take part in the 2011 Big Give Christmas Challenge. It is a match-funding fundraising initiative which will help us to maximise the money you donate towards type 1 research. Being chosen to participate in the Health Sector Challenge means we can ensure your support will go further when you make donations to JDRF’s research into type 1!

Take a look at JDRF’s Big Give Profile to learn more about the research project we are asking people to support as part of the Big Give Challenge. The study is exploring the cause of the autoimmune reaction that occurs in type 1 diabetes, and the genetics behind the condition.

There are many ways you will be able to get involved in the run up to the Challenge, which takes place between 5 and 9 December. We will keep you posted as it gets nearer to Christmas, but in the meantime you can read up on the Big Give on their website