JDRF through the Joint JDRF-Helmsley Charitable Trust Initiative Partners with Medtronic to Advance Continuous Glucose Monitoring Towards Artificial Pancreas Systems
NEW YORK, N.Y., June 1, 2012 -- JDRF in collaboration with the Helmsley Charitable Trust (HCT) announced today a partnership with Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT), a leader in artificial pancreas research and development. The JDRF-HCT Sensor Initiative aims to advance continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) accuracy and reliability towards the next generation artificial pancreas systems.
The goal of the partnership is to accelerate the development of Medtronic's novel redundant sensor system which combines two unique sensing technologies in one device. This major technological advance was awarded funding support from the JDRF-Helmsley Charitable Trust collaboration's Sensor Initiative. The JDRF-HCT Sensor Initiative was launched to accelerate the development and delivery of more accurate and reliable continuous glucose sensors. Continuous glucose sensors hold the potential to drive towards the development of future artificial pancreas systems for people with diabetes. Today's CGM devices have significantly helped improve glucose control in people with type 1 diabetes. Next generation sensors will provide improved accuracy and reliability, which will allow for more aggressive insulin management and support towards the development of automated artificial pancreas systems.
"Accurate and reliable sensor technology has long been identified as a necessity for the realization of an artificial pancreas. Medtronic's development of an orthogonally redundant sensor system will greatly accelerate this path," said Jeffrey Brewer, President and Chief Executive Officer of JDRF. "We are excited to bring our long-standing partnership with Medtronic to a new level through this Sensor Initiative, which could improve the outcomes of people with diabetes."
"The Helmsley Charitable Trust is committed to easing the burden and improving the quality of life of those living with type 1 diabetes; this collaboration provides the opportunity to accelerate the development of more accurate, effective tools to support day-to-day insulin management, which would accomplish both of our objectives," said David Panzirer, Trustee, Helmsley Charitable Trust.
The orthogonally redundant sensor system will combine an electrochemical sensor – scientifically referred to as a glucose oxidase (GOX) sensor and the commonly used technology in CGM systems – with an optical sensor, to provide accurate, glucose values. By combining two distinctive measurement technologies, the two sensors function as a "check and balance" to enable true redundancy to ensure safe and reliable glucose measurements for an artificial pancreas system.
"Today marks another great milestone in our partnership with the JDRF in collaboration with the Helmsley Charitable Trust to advance CGM technology for the artificial pancreas, which began several years ago with the JDRF CGM studies and continues through multiple artificial pancreas studies today," said Katie Szyman, President of the Diabetes business of Medtronic. "We are also excited to unveil the optical based glucose sensing technology we acquired several years ago. Advancing sensor accuracy and reliability is core to both organizations' missions to enable people with diabetes to live longer, healthier lives."
CGM devices provide both a real-time snapshot of the glucose level of a person with diabetes, as well as trend information on whether glucose is moving upwards or downwards, and how fast. The devices also provide warnings when the glucose is becoming too high or too low. JDRF's landmark CGM trials have shown that using CGM can significantly improve diabetes control and decrease the frequency of high and low blood sugars when used regularly. Today, these sensors are being used as part of artificial pancreas systems, ones that will reduce the amount of high and low blood sugar people with diabetes experience by automating insulin delivery some of the time. In the future, artificial pancreas systems that restore non-diabetes like glucose levels and are automated most of the time will require advanced sensors with increased accuracy and error detection capabilities. Medtronic has been a pioneer in artificial pancreas systems and developed the first closed loop product, Paradigm Veo, that automatically suspends insulin delivery if the sensor glucose value is equal to or below the low threshold value. This system is commercially available outside of the United States and Medtronic is conducting a pivotal trial to obtain Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.
About Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)
T1D is an autoimmune disease in which the body's pancreas stops producing enough insulin, a hormone needed to turn food into energy. People with T1D must test their blood glucose levels, by pricking their fingers for blood or with the aid of a CGM, and administer insulin accordingly via shots or an insulin pump, multiple times throughout every day.
JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents, and adults with this disease, JDRF is the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. The goal of JDRF is to improve the lives of every person affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners who share this goal. Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.5 billion to T1D research. More than 80 percent of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and research-related education. Past JDRF research efforts have helped to significantly improve the care of people with this disease and have expanded the critical scientific understanding of T1D. JDRF will not rest until T1D is fully conquered. For more information, please visit www.jdrf.org.
About the Diabetes Business at Medtronic
The Diabetes business at Medtronic (www.medtronicdiabetes.com) is the world leader in advanced diabetes management solutions, including integrated diabetes management systems, insulin pump therapy, continuous glucose monitoring systems and therapy management software, as well as world-class, 24/7 expert consumer and professional service and support.
Medtronic, Inc. (www.medtronic.com), headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology – alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for millions of people around the world.
About The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, established in 1999, is administered by four Trustees selected by Leona Helmsley. As a continuation of Mr. and Mrs. Helmsley's generous giving throughout their lifetimes, the Trust supports a diverse range of organizations with a major focus on health and medical research, in addition to programs in human services, education, cultural access, conservation and the security and development of Israel. Since 2009, the Trust has committed over $100 million to type 1 diabetes research and programs through the Helmsley Type 1 Diabetes Program. For more information, please visit www.helmsleytrust.org.