Today Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International announced an innovative partnership with Animas Corporation to begin work on bringing an automated ‘artificial pancreas’ closer to reality for people living with type 1 diabetes.
Animas, a Johnson & Johnson company, is a leading manufacturer and distributor of insulin delivery and glucose management systems. JDRF is a global leader in research leading to better treatments and cures for type 1 diabetes.
This major industry initiative within the JDRF Artificial Pancreas Project has an ambitious set of objectives. Not only will the partnership aim to develop a ‘first generation’ partially automated system to manage type 1 diabetes and conduct extensive clinical trials for safety and efficacy, but it will also aim to submit the system for regulatory approval in the next four years.
The idea behind the Artificial Pancreas Project is to link two existing technologies, insulin pumps and continuous glucose sensors. This first generation system aims to increase the time people with type 1 spend in the ‘target’ range – avoiding hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose levels) and serious hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose levels).
This programme is focused on limiting hyperglycaemia. Systems exist to limit hypoglycaemia by shutting off insulin delivery, but to limit hyperglycaemia extra insulin must be administered – but not deliver so much that it causes glucose levels to drop too low and induce hypoglycaemia.
‘This partnership will begin the process of automating how people with type 1 diabetes manage their blood glucose’ said Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF in the UK. ‘The ultimate goal is to have a fully automated system which can control blood glucose without input from the person using the system. But this “hypoglycaemia-hyperglycaemia minimiser” system could bring dramatic changes in the quality of life for people with type 1 diabetes, beginning to free them from the constant balancing act of testing, calculating doses and treating themselves throughout the day. It would represent a significant step forward, providing immediate benefits in terms of blood glucose control, and reducing the risk of developing long term complications of living with type 1’
‘Animas is committed to helping people with diabetes live their lives without limits,’ Henry Anhalt, DO, Medical Director, Animas Corporation said ‘We are proud to be working with JDRF on this critical programme.’
JDRF will provide $8 million in funding over the next four years for this project.
To support JDRF in delivering the Artifiical Pancreas and finding the cure for type 1 please donate now.