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The Helmsley Charitable Trust’s $30 Million Program to Fund Automated Insulin Delivery

Published: 1/21/14
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By Adam BrownKelly Close

On December 2, the influential Helmsley Charitable Trust (HCT), one of the world’s largest funders of type 1 diabetes research – and the 12th largest private foundation in the US – announced a $30 million program to fund the development of new automated insulin delivery technologies for patients with type 1 diabetes over the next three years. Four broad areas of interest exist for this funding opportunity, reflecting HCT’s desire to work on many different aspects of automated insulin delivery:

  1. Fully External Systems (i.e., currently available pumps and CGM sensors)

  2. Fully Implanted Systems;

  3. Mixed External and Implanted Systems (i.e., an implanted CGM and an external pump);

  4. Handheld Controller, Software, & Connectivity.

HCT is a very patient focused organization, and their diabetes side (about 20% of its funding) is no exception – for instance, to qualify for funding related to external systems, HCT requires that proposed systems should not be larger, more cumbersome, or more complicated than current devices on the market. Major kudos to HCT for putting together a large grant program with so much potential to help bring automated insulin delivery technology to the market faster. We cannot wait to learn who applies to this program and what projects are ultimately funded, as the scope is so broad. The HCT has been particularly influential in funding automated insulin delivery and moving next generation technologies forward through industry partnerships with BD (a new type of CGM and advanced insulin infusion sets), Dexcom (the highly accurate Gen 6 sensor), and Medtronic (a new type of redundant CGM), as well as academic partnerships with Boston University (Dr. Ed Damiano) and Stanford (Dr. Bruce Buckingham). So much to look forward to in the coming years! To learn more about the HCT’s work, we recommend watching this very inspirational video about the bionic pancreas called “Until There Is A Cure." –TW/AB/KC

[Editor’s Note: Since 2012, diaTribe has been supported in part by a grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust.]

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