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


JDRF is supporting research to make hypos history

JDRF is taking the lead in research into making hypos history.

Two particularly exciting aspects of this research are the artificial pancreas and smart insulins. We want to make both a reality – and then we won’t rest until they’re in the hands of everyone who needs them.

JDRF is funding studies by a team at the University of Cambridge into the artificial pancreas. A recent development saw an artificial pancreas being proven to work for 12 weeks – meaning the technology now can offer a whole school term of extra freedom for children with the condition.

Also, we have helped a smart insulin enter human trials for the very first time. Smart insulins are designed to circulate in the body and turn on when they're needed and off when they're not. A perfected smart insulin would mean near perfect blood glucose control – eliminating hypos.

There is much more information on the artificial pancreas and smart insulins available here on the JDRF website. To find out more about the possibilities on the horizon and how it might affect you, take a look through the resources below:

What is an artificial pancreas?

Why is developing an artificial pancreas important?

Help us complete the artificial pancreas project


Inviting your diabetes doctor into the research lab – to help find the cure

Doctors supporting people with type 1 diabetes are being invited by JDRF to get to know the research lab as well as the diabetes clinic. 

JDRF has announced it is launching a joint Clinical Research Training Fellowship with the Medical Research Council (MRC) to further strengthen type 1 diabetes research. 

Dr Clare McVicker, UK Director of Research Advocacy at JDRF, said: “It has been a thrilling 12 months of breakthroughs for type 1 diabetes research. We are making major progress on the journey to the cure. 

“But we want clinicians to join scientific researchers on this journey. Type 1 diabetes doctors have an unrivaled knowledge of the realities faced by people living with the condition. They know that progress in the lab must translate into tangible improvements for people in the wider world. 

“Drawing them into work in the lab will see research boosted and will also see type 1 diabetes clinical care boosted.”

See more about JDRF’s research into type 1 diabetes.



JDRF supporter Dom Littlewood's hypo story is a vivid one

“I have lived with type 1 diabetes for almost 40 years. I may have had 20,000 hypos in my lifetime – that’s more than many people have had hot dinners. It highlights the challenge that this life-long condition represents.

“Worrying about hypos – let alone actually having one – is a daily stress for anyone with this condition. I experienced my worst hypo just over 10 years ago. It nearly killed me.” Dominic Littlewood, speaking in 2014.

Dominic Littlewood, best known for presenting consumer television programmes such as Cowboy Builders and Saints and Scroungers has spoken openly about the serious hypos he has experienced and how a hypo almost claimed his life. In 2003, whilst visiting his sister in Hong Kong, Dominic had a severe hypo in his hotel room in the middle of night. 

Dom called the hotel reception but the lady on the other end of the phone hung up presuming it was a prank call after his words came out as gibberish! Luckily he managed to ring his sister.  At hospital a doctor put a digital thermometer in Dom’s ear but it failed to register. Dom says he was essentially “clinically dead” at this point.

Hypoglycaemia, more commonly referred to as ‘experiencing a hypo’ is a factor in type 1 diabetes all too familiar to people living with the condition and their friends and families. People with type 1 diabetes on average experience ten a week.

Dom Littlewood is right. It is one of the major challenges of type 1 diabetes.

On this Hypo Awareness Week we reaffirm our commitment to supporting research into type 1 diabetes. We are confident that we will find the cure. Until that day JDRF is working tirelessly to improve the day-to-day lives of everyone living with the condition. 


Cheques in the City! Capital’s business leaders back researchers investigating type 1 diabetes cure – as JDRF becomes partner charity of Lord Mayor of the City of London

Type 1 diabetes research has received a major boost with the Lord Mayor-elect of the City of London naming JDRF and Sea Cadets as his charities of choice for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal over the next 12 months. 

Lord Mountevans, also known as Jeffrey Evans, will begin his role as Lord Mayor (not to be confused with the Mayor of London Boris Johnson) next month and has kindly selected JDRF and Sea Cadets for this huge privilege – which will encourage the capital’s biggest business dragons to get behind the search for the type 1 diabetes cure. 

The Lord Mayor’s Appeal Charity has raised many millions for a number of different charities over the years. The Lord Mayor of the City of London is one of the oldest continuously elected civic offices in the world with the first Lord Mayor being inaugurated in 1189. While Boris represents Greater London as Mayor of London, The Lord Mayor is the governing officer solely for the City, commonly known as the Square Mile

JDRF will see tangible and valuable benefits from being a part of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal and is honoured to be the benefactors of this prestigious and proud institution. 

We are already a strong international charity, supporting the best type 1 diabetes research in London, the wider UK and around the world. But this will make us stronger still. The City of London is the beating heart of Greater London, which is itself a hub of global business, medical research and commerce.

Karen Addington, CEO of JDRF said: “Thank you so much to the Lord Mayor-elect and his wife. We are delighted and proud to be named as one of the two main beneficiaries for the 2016 Lord Mayor’s Appeal.

“The Appeal does tremendous work and shares common goals and values with JDRF. We look forward to working with the Appeal Charity to support vital type 1 diabetes research.”

Dominic Christian, JDRF Board Director added: “When my daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, JDRF were there to support us every step of the way. With more progress made in the last five years than the past 50, being named as beneficiary for the Lord Mayor's Appeal is an invaluable way that we can raise awareness of type 1 diabetes and more money to support our research to cure, treat and prevent the condition.”

 Could the firm you work for support JDRF?


It's Hypo Awareness Week!

This week JDRF is proud to support the fourth Hypo Awareness Week. This initiative began in 2012 by NHS Diabetes with the aim of helping to bring attention to a potentially serious, but unfortunately common, complication of diabetes - hypoglycaemia. 

Hypoglycaemia, commonly referred to as a ‘hypo’ is when blood glucose levels in people who live with diabetes become too low.  If a hypo is not treated it can lead to unconsciousness and, in extreme cases, may even prove fatal.

Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF said: “Hypoglycaemia is one of the most common and potentially severe side effects of insulin therapy. As the world’s leading charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research we are currently leading on worldwide research aimed at reducing the impact of hypoglycaemia and we are working towards reducing and even, one day, eliminating hypos.”

This week let’s educate, inform and shout about hypos!

Find out more about the research into type 1 diabetes supported by JDRF


Gallstone drug could be used to fight type 1

JDRF researchers at Stanford University have used a commonly-available drug for gallstones to prevent the onset of type 1 diabetes in mice.

If the results can be translated to humans with the condition, the drug’s widespread use could speed the path to its adoption.

The Stanford team, led by Dr Nadine Nagy, discovered the drug’s potential when they tried to determine how type 1 develops in the pancreas. They found that people who had been recently diagnosed with the condition had high levels of a substance called hyaluronan around their insulin-producing beta cells – much higher than either people without type 1, or people who had had the condition for many years.

Hyaluronan usually accumulates near injuries, such as sprains, when they become inflamed, and inflammation is a key part of the destructive process in autoimmune conditions. This suggested to the researchers that hyaluronan could be involved in the development of type 1.

To test whether the high levels were actually a cause - or simply an effect - of the immune attack, the researchers used a drug, called hymecromone, that blocks the body’s production of hyaluronan.

When mice that are prone to developing diabetes were given hymecromone, they stayed free from diabetes for at least a year, while those that were not quickly saw their blood glucose levels rise. However, the drug had to be taken consistently – once stopped, the effects wore off and the mice developed type 1.

Despite this, the researchers are now working with the US Food and Drug Administration to develop a clinical trial of the drug for people with type 1.

Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF, said: ‘Finding exciting new possibilities for existing drugs – known as repurposing – is a very smart approach as the drug’s safety is already established. We funded this study and we’re delighted it has shown promise. But it remains to be seen whether this success in mice can be replicated in people.’


JDRF says thank you to Downton Abbey for the special support!

After five years of tumultuous, shocking and heartening storylines, ITV’s popular Sunday night hit, Downton Abbey, is coming to an end.

This Sunday sees the start of the sixth, and sadly final, series of the period drama. This means an emotional farewell to much-loved characters including the rigid but kind-hearted Carson, the stylish and dry-humoured Lady Mary and the witty and hilarious Dowager Countess.  

The drama, which has captivated so many, has seen humour and indeed tragedy; perhaps none more so than the death of Crawley-canine Isis,  and as all great things must, Downton Abbey is coming to an end. 

There are so many questions left to be answered in what promises to be a terrific final series and Christmas special; what will happen with Mr and Mrs Bates? Will it all end happily-ever-after for Mr Carson and Mrs Hughes? Will Tom leave for America?

As well as being huge fans of the show, JDRF is thankful for the great effort shown by many of the stars of Downton Abbey and indeed the creator, Lord Fellowes, in raising the profile of type 1 diabetes and research into a cure.

Hugh Bonneville, who plays the Crawley family patriarch, Robert Crawley, has given his support to JDRF, saying:

 “It’s really important to get people talking about and understanding type 1 diabetes. That’s why JDRF needs the support of people like you and me, so they can continue to carry out vital research.”

Fellow stars Brendan Coyle and Joanne Froggatt, who portray the ever-suffering Mr and Mrs Bates have also given great support to JDRF, adding:

“We believe that everyone, including people living with type 1 diabetes, deserves to get the most out of life. JDRF is a wonderful charity doing great things for people affected by the condition.”

Actor Jim Carter, who has been terrific as loyal butler, Carson, very kindly hosted a live auction at a Downton Abbey charity dinner for JDRF.

Writer and creator of the show, Lord Fellowes, and his wife, Lady Fellowes, are tireless and devoted supporters of JDRF.  In 2014 he attended a JDRF fundraising evening at Highclere Castle, Hampshire (where Downton Abbey is filmed) and this year the couple joined stars such as Boy George and Sir Ben Ainslie at the Art Antiques London Party in the Park event which raised an amazing £470,000 for JDRF.

Some viewers may also be interested to know that the character Atticus Aldridge, the love interest of Lady Rose, was named at an auction in aid of JDRF. Lord Fellowes very kindly agreed to have this character named after the winner of the auction, allowing one viewer the honour of featuring (if only in name!) in the show and raising vital funds for JDRF and type 1 diabetes research.

Although we at JDRF are sad to see the end of Downton Abbey we’d like to thank all the stars, the creator, Lord Fellowes, and everyone who attended the auctions and events in aid of JDRF for helping us move closer to the cure for type 1 diabetes. 



New study shows artificial pancreas works for length of entire school term

Revolutionary technology assisting people with type 1 diabetes edges closer to perfection.

An artificial pancreas given to children and adults with type 1 diabetes going about their daily lives has been proven to work for 12 weeks – meaning the technology now can offer a whole school term of extra freedom for children with the condition.

Artificial pancreas trials for people at home, work and school have previously been limited to short periods of time. But this study, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, saw the technology safely provide three whole months of use, bringing us closer to the day when the wearable, smartphone-like device can be made available to patients.

The lives of the 400,000 UK people with type 1 diabetes currently involves a relentless balancing act of controlling their blood glucose levels by finger-prick blood tests and taking insulin via injections or a pump. But the artificial pancreas sees tight blood glucose control achieved automatically.

This latest University of Cambridge study showed the artificial pancreas significantly improved control of blood glucose levels among participants – lessening their risk of hypoglycaemia. Known as ‘having a hypo,’ hypoglycaemia is a drop in blood glucose levels that can be highly dangerous and is what people with type 1 diabetes hate most.

Susan Walls is mother to Daniel Walls, a 12-year-old with type 1 diabetes who has taken part in the trial. She said: “Daniel goes back to school this month after the summer holidays – so it’s a perfect time to hear this wonderful news that the artificial pancreas is proving reliable, offering a whole school term of support.

“The artificial pancreas could change my son’s life, and the lives of so many others. Daniel has absolutely no hypoglycaemia awareness at night. His blood glucose levels could be very low and he wouldn’t wake up. The artificial pancreas could give me the peace of mind that I’ve been missing.”

The University of Cambridge study is being funded by JDRF. Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF, said: “JDRF launched its goal of perfecting the artificial pancreas in 2006. These results today show that we are thrillingly close to what will be a breakthrough in medical science.”

Dr Roman Hovorka, lead artificial pancreas researcher at the University of Cambridge, said: “The data clearly demonstrate the benefits of the artificial pancreas when used over several months. We have seen improved glucose control and reduced risk of unwanted low glucose levels.”

Read more about the artificial pancreas.


Olympic legend Sir Steve Redgrave – and JDRF – cheer fundraising hero Phil over finish line

An Olympic rowing great joined with JDRF to welcome an inspirational fundraiser as he completed a 14-hour marathon challenge.

Five-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave saluted Phil Packer, MBE, as Phil completed a walk of the route of the London Marathon in a personal record time – despite once being told he might never walk again. 

Phil suffered a complex spinal cord injury while serving with the armed forces in Iraq. He faced an uncertain future. But he subsequently recovered to launch an epic fundraising challenge in 2009 which saw him walk the route of the London Marathon, using crutches, in 14 days. Sir Steve, who lives with type 2 diabetes and uses an insulin pump, gave him a medal as he crossed the finish line on that day.

Since then, Phil’s slow physical recovery has continued and his fundraising skill has grown. So on Monday (September 13) Phil once again took on the marathon route – and this time completed it in less than 14 hours – as part of his BRIT charity’s drive to support partner organisations including JDRF.

JDRF’s Chief Executive in the UK, Karen Addington, was there alongside Sir Steve to congratulate Phil as he crossed the line. Karen said: “Phil is a true inspiration and his support of JDRF is very valuable to us.”

Learn more about Phil’s BRIT charity

See our #TackleType1 campaign for sports teams


Stockholm Stories – Glucagon: use it, or lose it?

This week Conor and Rachel, our Research Communication team, are reporting from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) conference in Stockholm. Each day they'll be reporting on the things they’ve found interesting and exciting from Europe's biggest meeting of diabetes researchers.

Tuesday and Wednesday saw some really interesting presentations about glucagon. Glucagon is the hormone with the opposite job to insulin: it raises your blood glucose levels when they get too low. Working together, insulin and glucagon  regulate your blood glucose levels.

People with type 1 diabetes usually know glucagon as the 'emergency rescue' for very severe hypos. But it is difficult to use, as it is tricky to store and has to be injected. So Dr Jennifer Sherr’s presentation on Tuesday generated lots of interest because her team have been able to develop a form of glucagon that is given as a simple nasal spray. Not only does this avoid the need for an injection, but because it is a powder, it can be kept at room temperature and does not need to be mixed.

Dr Sherr also emphasised that because the spray is absorbed by the blood vessels in the nose, it does not need to be breathed in, so it can still be used on people who are unconscious.

Wednesday morning saw discussion of glucagon in a very different light: is it part of the problem in managing type 1? Dr Young Lee from the University of Texas presented the results of her team's work in mice, which showed that in mice with type 1, glucose levels were high, and very variable when treated with insulin, as you'd expect. But if they also stopped glucagon from working in these mice, the mice could maintain very good blood glucose levels without the need for insulin at all!

The work is at an early stage so the team haven't been able to see if there are longer term negative consequences to this approach. In fact, a note of caution was introduced in the very next presentation where Dr Morris Birnbaum, from drug company Pfizer, showed that drugs that block glucagon action in people with type 1 didn't have quite the same dramatic effect as in mice.

But the fundamental understanding of the delicate balancing act between glucagon and insulin, and how the healthy body maintains this balance is becoming better understood. This additional knowledge means new strategies for keeping glucose levels in check in people with type 1 may be on the horizon.


Stockholm stories – interesting insulins

This week Conor and Rachel, our Research Communication team, are reporting from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) conference in Stockholm. Each day they'll be reporting on the things they’ve found interesting and exciting from Europe's biggest meeting of diabetes researchers.

Since the discovery of insulin almost 100 years ago, there have been some major leaps forward in its use as a treatment for type 1 diabetes. Longer-acting insulins were first made in the 1930s, allowing people with type 1 to manage their levels between mealtime injections. The first synthetic insulin was developed in the 1950s, as an alternative to insulin extracted from animals. And the first synthetic ‘human’ insulin – designed to be as similar as possible to the insulin produced in the body – came along in the 1980s.

Yet Tuesday’s talks at EASD showed that researchers are not resting on their laurels. Teams from Asia, Europe and the US presented their work on a variety of insulins, from ultra-long acting, to new formulations that come with a reduced risk of hypos.

First up: ultra-long acting insulin. A conventional long-acting insulin, such as Lantus, acts for around a day. Here we heard about insulins that last for between two days and a week. They are basal insulins, so still need to be used alongside regular bolus doses, but their very long duration means fewer injections, and more stable blood glucose levels, throughout the day. Some even had knock-on effects, helping people to improve their HbA1c levels without increasing the risk of night-time hypos.

Of course, insulin always comes with some risk of hypoglycaemia, which is why research into making it less common is so important. Also speaking on Tuesday, Professor Munehide Matsuhisa presented his research into different concentrations of Lantus injections. He found that injections of Lantus containing 300 units per millilitre were just as good as injections of 100 units per millilitre at helping people manage their levels, but gave a lower risk of both night-time hypos and severe hypos. Knowing this effect could help healthcare teams prescribe the best long-acting insulin, particularly for people who struggle with frequent hypos.

Until we develop a smart insulin – an insulin that is injected once a day, and manages your levels automatically, without carb counting or bolusing – all of this research into insulin could make life with type 1 easier for millions of people.


£3 million of new funding to continue British and Israeli research into conditions including type 1 diabetes

A special partnership between British and Israeli scientists – backed by Prime Minister David Cameron - is to be provided with a further £3 million of research funding.

The partnership, including JDRF and three other leading medical research charities, is tackling some of the world’s most challenging health conditions, including type 1 diabetes.  

The third BIRAX (British Israel Research Academic Exchange) Research Call will award a further seven projects in 2017 worth £3 million in new funding. The BIRAX initiative was created by the British Embassy in Israel and the British Council to invest in world-leading collaborative research.

This builds on a previous funding announcement which saw scientists from universities including Cambridge and Oxford provided with funding for cutting-edge research to find cures for type 1 diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s. The type 1 diabetes research has focused on ‘regenerative’ approaches, which explore whether lost insulin-producing cells can be regenerated in the body.

The new announcement was welcomed following discussions on science and innovation between the prime minister David Cameron and the Prime Minister of Israel, Benyamin Netanyahu, last week.

Clare McVicker, Director of Research Advocacy at JDRF in the UK, said: “Regenerative medicine is a thrilling frontier for type 1 diabetes research that offers the potential to change lives. JDRF is delighted that BIRAX is successfully strengthening international research collaboration between Israel and Britain, and we are delighted to once again be a part of this project.”  

 Alan Gemmell, Director of the British Council in Israel commented: “Through BIRAX, the best scientists in Britain and Israel are working together to develop therapies and find cures for diseases that affect millions of people. We’re proud to be able to support labs across the UK and fund their work through partnerships with world-leading medical research foundations.”  


Type 1 technology- new guide for families

A NEW family-friendly guide to type 1 diabetes technology is available from today.

From different types of insulin pumps, to flash glucose monitoring and continuous glucose monitoring; the technology options available to help people manage their type 1 diabetes day-to-day can certainly be confusing at times. This is especially true for those coping with a recent diagnosis. 

Entitled “Type 1 Technology:  A guide for young people and families”, the guide aims to help families when they are talking to healthcare professionals about the technology on offer to them.

The guide has been jointly produced by JDRF, Diabetes UK and INPUT Patient Advocacy, with input from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). It highlights new recommendations from NICE on treatments and technology for children and young people with type 1 diabetes. It also gives an update on some technologies that NICE hasn’t made recommendations on. 

The recommendations from NICE include aiming for tighter blood glucose control to improve the management of type 1 diabetes amongst children and young people. The recommendations should also improve access to continuous glucose monitors (CGM) and insulin pumps.

A National Diabetes Audit from 2013-14 found that 26,500 children and young people live with type 1 diabetes in the UK, with the number of people in total living with types 1 and 2 diabetes all together standing at more than three million.

Sarah Johnson, Director of Policy and Communications at JDRF, said:

“We know from our supporters that it can be confusing at times when seeing what technology is out there for people who live with type 1 diabetes, especially for children and young people. This new family-friendly guide will make life easier for young people who live with type 1 diabetes or their family in assessing what options are there to help them manage their condition.”

To read Type 1 Technology click here.



Youngster who lives with type 1 diabetes meets his heroes at British Judo World Championships Team Launch

Last week on Monday 10th August young judoka Ethan Evans from Haltwhistle Judo Club in Northumberland, won the opportunity to meet the British Judo World Championships team after his mum, Joy, tweeted a message of support for the team on his behalf. The tweet, which spoke about Ethan’s type 1 diabetes, highlighted how the team were an inspiration to him. 

For the first time the British Judo World Championships team, who are competing in Astana, Kazakhstan 24-29 August, was announced through live video. It featured competition winner Ethan as the team’s ‘face of judo’.

Speaking on the day Ethan said: “I started judo last year at Haltwhistle Judo Club and Haydenbridge Judo Club in the summer. When I found out about winning the competition I was really excited but I think my mum was a bit more excited because it’s the first thing we’ve really won! Ashley McKenzie is one of my favourite players and I got to meet him today.

“Judo is all about having fun and I like to enter competitions. In the future I would love to come and train here [at the British Judo Centre of Excellence].”

Ethan also had the chance to fight World Championships team member Colin Oates and he put the London 2012 Olympian and 2014 Commonwealth Games champion through his paces.

Ethan’s mother Joy spoke to British Judo about the positive effect doing judo has had on Ethan and the management of his type 1 diabetes including helping to regulate his blood sugar levels pre and post training.

Joy said: “For the first couple of months that Ethan went along to judo we had to monitor his blood sugar levels very closely throughout his hour of training and in the hours that followed.

“After the first couple of shaky months we, Ethan, myself and his coaches, adjusted things like his insulin levels, blood sugar tests and pre-training meals so that Ethan's blood sugar levels stay as stable as possible regardless of how hard he trains. 

“Also, because Ethan understands that if his blood sugar levels aren't well enough controlled he will miss training, it gives him added incentive to look after himself so that he doesn't miss out.”

She also paid tribute to the support provided by Ethan’s coaches Michael Bolton and Carol Drummond who she says have never viewed his diabetes as a hindrance and have helped build Ethan’s confidence.

If you’d like to find out more about judo or like to try it yourself visit ‘Throw Yourself Into Judo’ for a beginner’s guide and how you can find your nearest club!

 Want to do a sporty challenge for JDRF? See here!


Teenager kicked out of driving theory test for having blood glucose meter: JDRF reaction

A 17-year old from Flintshire, north Wales who was disqualified from a driving theory exam for bringing in with her a blood glucose meter has been offered a free retake and given an apology from the DVSA. 

Lowri Jones, who lives with type 1 diabetes, was disqualified after the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) officials in Chester deemed her blood glucose meter, similar to the library image to the right, to be an “inappropriate” item. Lowri was distraught and told the Daily Mirror:

“It was really humiliating and people were probably thinking I was cheating when I wasn’t. It was so embarrassing and it’s not my fault I need my blood reader. I went up to my mum in tears afterwards, I was so embarrassed.”

DVSA officials later contacted Lowri to apologise and arranged for her to reschedule for a free test. 

Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF, said: “People living with type 1 diabetes should never face discrimination of any kind. Life with the condition can be challenging enough already. I’m glad to see the authorities have apologised to Lowri and offered her a free test. We wish her good luck.” 

She added: “I would ask others in the type 1 diabetes community to share their experiences of discrimination and obstruction."


Psoriasis drug could protect insulin-producing cells in type 1 diabetes

JDRF researchers in the US have found that alefacept, a psoriasis drug that targets the immune system, could help keep insulin-producing cells safe in people with type 1 diabetes.

The results come from a two-year clinical trial of the drug in people who were newly diagnosed with type 1. The same team previously reported encouraging results in 2013 but now, 15 months after the last dose of alefacept, people who were given the drug needed to take less insulin day-to-day, and had higher levels of a protein called C-peptide – a by-product of insulin production – in their blood, than people given a placebo.

This suggests they were making more of their own insulin than people who did not take alefacept, despite both groups having had type 1 for more than two years.

When the researchers compared the levels of immune cells between the two groups, people who had taken alefacept had higher levels of cells that regulate the immune system, and lower levels of cells that are known to attack the pancreas in type 1.

Taken together, it appears the drug helped keep insulin-producing cells healthy by altering the immune system, reducing its ability to attack.

Dr Gerald Nepom, director of the Immune Tolerance Network, which conducted the trial, is cautiously optimistic about the next stage of the research: ‘Achieving long-term benefit following a short course of therapy is a challenging goal.’

‘Detailed analysis of the immune cell types in the blood of those who responded to the treatment will help us identify the best way to improve this type of immune therapy for people with type 1 diabetes and potentially other autoimmune conditions.’

Conor McKeever, Research Communication Officer at JDRF in the UK, commented: ‘It’s always exciting to see research using an existing drug because if it works, the path to getting the drug to people with type 1 should be clearer and quicker. We’ll be watching with interest to see what results come out of the next stage of the study.’

The results were published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.


Professional footballer Scott Allan receives vile abuse over his type 1 diabetes

Scott Allan, 23, a midfielder for Edinburgh club Hibernian has received venomous abuse on Twitter after handing in a transfer request – with some abusive messages featuring offensive references to his type 1 diabetes.  

Allan recently handed in a formal transfer request amid reported interest from Glasgow giants Rangers and consequently faced a barrage of abuse on social media. According to the Daily Record the midfielder was targeted on Twitter with messages abusing him and his family and threatening his life. The player has lived with type 1 diabetes since the age of three.

There were also at least two tweets referring to Allan’s condition. The Daily Record featured on their website screenshots of tweets which have since been deleted and many of the accounts shut down. One vile tweet said:  “I hope Scott Allan's diabetes gets worse" while another appalling message included the phrase “diabetic ****”. Some offensive comments were also of a sectarian nature and Police Scotland have opened an investigation.

However the vast majority of messages to Scott Allan referring to how he lives with type 1 were overwhelmingly positive, with one user conveying respect for Allan successfully balancing professional sport with the condition.

The young midfielder also received an abundance of support from fellow professionals. Hibernian teammate Jason Cummings wrote on Twitter: “Some people have got too much to say for themselves #KeyboardGangsters.”

Fellow Hibernian midfielder Jordon Forster tweeted: “I can understand frustration but some of this is just disgusting!”


Allan’s club praised him and highlighted its own efforts to also support others affected by diabetes. 

Speaking to JDRF, a Hibernian FC spokesperson said:

““The Club and the overwhelming majority of supporters were very quick to condemn the mindless postings of some individuals on social media.  The Club has been very supportive of Scott in terms of assisting him in managing his diabetes so successfully, and we have worked with Scott and NHS Lothian to encourage children and young people with diabetes to ensure they work hard with their parents and health professionals to look after themselves properly.

"At a recent event, more than 350 children and young people with diabetes and family members attended an event at Easter Road, run with NHS Lothian and with clinicians involved, which was enormously successful.

“As a successful professional sportsman, Scott has used his position to encourage others with diabetes and deserves thanks for his efforts.”



War Horse star and JDRF supporter Jeremy Irvine to star alongside Michael Douglas

JDRF supporter and Hollywood icon Jeremy Irvine, breakthrough star of the 2012 blockbuster War Horse will grace the big screen again at the end of this month.

The Cambridgeshire-born actor will star alongside movie legend Michael Douglas in Beyond the Reach based on Robb White’s 1972 novel Deathwatch.


In Beyond the Reach Jeremy plays a rookie tour guide who is hired by businessman and game hunter John Madec (Michael Douglas) and becomes embroiled in a dangerous adventure across the reaches of the Mojave Desert.

2015 is proving to be another defining year for Jeremy. In the autumn he will appear in an eagerly-anticipated film about the 1969 Stonewall Riots. Stonewall, directed by Roland Emmerich, the pioneering filmmaker behind Independence Day and 10,000 BC, also stars Irish heartthrob Jonathan Rhys-Myers and Hellboy star Ron Perlman.

 Jeremy, who has lived type 1 diabetes since the age of six, will play the lead role of Danny, a gay young man who is inspired to demonstrate against the pervasive homophobia of the time in 1960s New York City.

The young star is also a passionate supporter of the work JDRF is doing in funding medical research and has personally taken part in JDRF-backed trials of the artificial pancreas as well as appearing on Sky News to discuss his experiences of the condition and why he supports JDRF.

Beyond the Reach is released in the UK on Friday 31st July 2015.

Stonewall meanwhile is in British cinemas in September.


Watch Jeremy Irvine discussing his support of JDRF on Sky News 29/11/2012

Inspired by Jeremy? See how you can get involved with JDRF


Birthday bash for Beefy: JDRF supporter and cricket legend Sir Ian Botham’s birthday celebrations to raise funds for JDRF

Cricketing legend and JDRF supporter Sir Ian Botham is celebrating his 60th birthday next week with a big celebration featuring special guests including the likes of Shane Warne and Sir Viv Richards alongside live music from Eric Clapton to raise funds for charities including JDRF.

Beefy's Big 60th Birthday Bash will take place on Saturday 25th July from 11:00am at Wormsley Cricket Ground in Buckinghamshire. Sir Ian will be joined by cricketing legends, Sir Viv Richards, Darren Gough, Matthew Hoggard and Wasim Akram, alongside spin-master Shane Warne, before guitar legend Eric Clapton takes to the stage in the evening.

Sir Ian’s daughter, Becky Botham-Armstrong  lives with type 1 diabetes and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania for JDRF in June 2014, along with a team of fellow JDRF supporters. Sir Ian also launched a philanthropic initiative in 2014 called Beefy’s Charity Foundation. JDRF is one of the lucky organisations which receives support from this new charity.

On JDRF, Sir Ian Botham said: 

"My daughter Becky was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged nine and it had a big impact on the whole family. At the time I was often away on tour with the England cricket team. This left my wife Kath coping with the insulin injections, finger-prick blood tests, and other demands of Becky’s condition. 

“Becky herself has grown to tackle the challenges of type 1 diabetes with typical Botham spirit. I was immensely proud when she climbed Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, for the type 1 diabetes charity JDRF in 2014.” 

He added: “I am very happy to be involved with JDRF as it supports research into how to more effectively treat type 1 diabetes and aims to one day prevent and cure the condition. I salute all those who support this charity.” 

Adele Claase, Head of Events for JDRF, said:

“JDRF is so fortunate to have the Botham family as friends. Becky’s trek up Kilimanjaro was nothing short of heroic. To have the support of her father’s foundation is a wonderful bonus. Beefy’s Charity Foundation will help us to support vital research into better treating, preventing and one day curing type 1 diabetes.” 

For more information about how to secure tickets for Beefy's Big 60th Birthday Bash follow this link.

Inspired by Becky Botham-Armstrong’s conquering of Kilimanjaro? See how you can get involved with JDRF



BBC expresses 'regret' over hypo story in The Syndicate

The BBC has responded to complaints from JDRF and people living with type 1 diabetes after its television drama The Syndicate appeared to suggest a character with low blood glucose was treated with insulin.

The final episode of the flagship BBC One drama, which was viewed by nearly 5.5 million people, was heavily criticised on social media for its portrayal of hypoglycaemia, with some outraged viewers pointing out that giving insulin to someone suffering from a hypo could be fatal.

 A spokesperson for BBC Complaints said:

"We regret if we have given the impression to some viewers that low blood sugar should be treated with insulin. We appreciate that type 1 diabetes is a very serious illness and we understand why some viewers raised concerns. We would always advise that anyone affected should seek medical advice on how best to treat and manage symptoms."

The spokesperson added:

"We acknowledge that if someone is suffering from hypoglycemia/low blood glucose (blood sugar) that an insulin injection shouldn’t be given. At no point in the programme was it stated that this is what was happening to Amy when she received the injections; much of this aspect of the story is told through recollections, and possible fabrications, by Amy. So we are left unsure if she did suffer from low blood glucose at any time - or if any of her story was true at all. This is, after all, a fictionalised drama and the intention was never to advise viewers how to treat someone who is suffering from hypoglycemia." 

Kay Mellor, writer of the drama series, had earlier hit back insisting she had researched type 1 diabetes whilst writing the series and reiterating that the programme was "in no way a medical drama".

If you have any questions about hypoglycaemia or type 1 diabetes more generally please visit our website which includes FAQs and more information about living with the condition.