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JDRF and Janssen Team Up to Prevent Type 1 Diabetes

Twitter Summary: .@JDRF + Janssen partner to prevent #T1D, aim to diagnose ppl early to help delay or prevent #insulin dependence

This morning, JDRF and Janssen announced a partnership as part of Janssen’s newly created “Disease Interception Accelerator” group. The project seeks to identify the root causes of type 1 diabetes, with the goal of developing new interventions that stop those at-risk from progressing to full blown type 1 diabetes (i.e., “intercepting” the disease). Notably, type 1 diabetes is the first disease area Janssen has chosen to study as part of this group.

The diaTribe team had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Richard Insel, the Chief Scientific Officer of JDRF to hear more about this collaboration. Dr. Insel was very excited to see a major pharma company like Janssen (a division of J&J) stepping up in the prevention space, which has been a rarity to date. This partnership has lots of potential to change the way type 1 diabetes is identified and cared for, including developing new tools to diagnose type 1 diabetes earlier, developing better indicators (“biomarkers”) that identify when the disease is progressing, and perhaps even new therapies. Given JDRF’s focus on all people with type 1 diabetes, work in both adults and children will of course be in the discussion.  

JDRF estimates that the risk of developing type 1 diabetes can be 10-100 times greater when a sibling, parent, or child has the disease, demonstrating how critical prevention efforts are in type 1 research. Furthermore, many in the research community believe that the ultimate “cure” for type 1 diabetes will come in the form of prevention (i.e., eradicating it, like we did for polio and other diseases). Though there is nothing specific to report from the Janssen/JDRF partnership yet, we are optimistic that more news will come over the next year.  –AJW/AB

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