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Preview of the Biggest Diabetes Gathering of 2018!

Updated: 8/14/21 3:00 amPublished: 6/8/18
By Jeemin KwonKelly Close

By Jeemin Kwon and Kelly Close

ADA is around the corner, and there’s going to be exciting updates on diabetes drugs and therapy, devices, big picture questions, #beyondA1C, and advocacy; stay tuned!

The biggest scientific diabetes conference of the year is coming up soon – the ADA 78th Scientific Sessions will take place in Orlando, Florida from June 22-26! It’s always an exciting time for diaTribe, as we do the work for you, taking the opportunity to learn firsthand about the latest and greatest advances in diabetes treatments and technology as well as big picture happenings across the diabetes landscape.  Notably, ADA has a new leader: Ms. Tracey Brown, the first African-American woman to lead the organization, and we so hope we get to meet her! Below is a preview of what we’re especially looking forward to, ranging from new study results, diabetes tech product theaters, and more. If you have any burning questions, contact us on Twitter or send us a message, and we’ll do our best to get them answered in Orlando! Look out for expanded coverage later this month.

Click to jump to a section:

Diabetes Therapy

  • GLP-1 Ozempic as a pill? Results from one study on an oral (pill) version of Ozempic should shed light on whether or not it’s a viable option. Earlier this year, we covered the initial results from the study, PIONEER 1, but at ADA, we expect more detail and answers to questions about side effects and how “user friendly” the therapy is in terms of required fasting, etc.

  • Tight vs. standard glucose management? The VADT study followed veterans with type 2 to see the impact of aggressive versus standard diabetes therapy plans on long-term health outcomes. At ADA, we’ll see how these people fared 15 years after their aggressive versus standard treatment. Early results, published back in 2009, had shown no difference between rates of death or microvascular complications (kidney, eye, nerve problems), but it should be interesting to see what the 15-year data shows. We wish they were wearing CGM so we can tell the differences in “time in range”.

  • SGLT use in type 1: 2018 is already shaping up to be a big year for SGLT drugs – a type of diabetes drug already approved for people with type 2 diabetes – in type 1’s. We previously covered studies examining Farxiga and Zynquista, which have both been submitted for regulatory approval, and at ADA, we’ll hear about results looking at Jardiance in type 1’s. This is a controversial area and a really interesting one.

  • And more!

Diabetes Devices

  • Lots of buzz about automated insulin delivery (AID): ADA will be bustling with new data from Medtronic’s MiniMed 670G (the first hybrid closed loop system), Diabeloop, Insulet’s Omnipod Horizon, Beta Bionics’ iLet, Tandem’s predictive low glucose suspend system (Basal.IQ), OpenAPS (do-it-yourself), and more. Once you’ve had a computer figure out how much insulin you need, the thought of doing this manually seems a bit more challenging. The future is very exciting on this front …

  • Insulet-Lilly’s U500 Omnipod (insulin pump) versus multiple daily injections: We’re eager to hear the results from the VIVID study, which compares health outcomes on Omnipod U500 insulin vs. multiple daily injections. We expect the U500 Omnipod, which is expected to launch in 2019, to be a good option for people with high daily insulin requirements based on what we’ve heard in the past from many on diaTribe’s esteemed advisory board – we can’t wait to hear what the experts think in Orlando!

  • Sugar.IQ real-world data: At last year’s ADA meeting, we had our first peek at data from the use of Medtronic’s “personal diabetes assistant,” Sugar.IQ, powered by IBM Watson’s cognitive computing technology. The app, which will be launched alongside Medtronic’s Guardian Connect CGM this year, provides personalized insights in the context of user-entered food, insulin, and exercise data. A previous small study in 136 people found that the app marginally helps improve time-in-range by 33 minutes per day. We’re hopeful for a bigger user sample in this presentation, as well as more info and more insights into how people are using the app in the real world. We’ll be in touch from Orlando on cool multi-media.  

  • Product theaters: Since the last ADA, there have been several big CGM updates: Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre and Dexcom’s G6 launched in the US, Senseonics submitted Eversense to the FDA (and expects approval before ADA), and Medtronic’s Guardian Connect was approved. diaTribe’s Adam Brown and Kelly Close wrote about their experiences with the G6 in detail here, and we’ll be very interested to bring you the takes of the experts in the halls as these devices make their ADA debuts! We’ll be listening big-time to how access questions are evolving.

  • And more!


A1C cannot do it all when it comes to capturing the day-to-day experience of living with diabetes. Following an exciting year of ongoing advocacy, there will be a strong focus on the Beyond A1C movement at ADA this year:

  • Outcomes beyond A1C for children: This discussion will feature Drs. Roy Beck, Lori Laffel, and William Tamborlane – all experts in the field

  • Tresiba vs. Toujeo: Which of these next-gen basal insulins better reduce the risk for hypoglycemia?

  • And more!

Saving the most exciting for last, here’s what the ADA’s inspiring Chief Scientific, Medical, and Mission Officer Dr. Will Cefalu told us he's most looking forward to at ADA 2018: "As always, work in the basic science arena continues to give us clues about the inner workings of the pancreas and the impact of diabetes on the entire body. We can expect substantive exchanges of knowledge that help to continue to improve living with diabetes, particularly some very interesting studies on specific tech devices, and on our continued quest to find a cure or cures."

Let us know here what you’re particularly excited about!

What do you think?

About the authors

Kelly L. Close is the founder and Chair of the Board of The diaTribe Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of people living with diabetes and prediabetes, and... Read the full bio »