The JDRF Hope Gala – One Night is in its 9th year in Naples, and this year we are focusing our attention on the amazing research that JDRF has made possible through the generous support of our donors. This year, because of donors like you and events like these all over the world, JDRF- funded diabetes research has reached some truly amazing milestones.
Many of you who have been attending JDRF events in the past few years have heard a lot about the Artificial Pancreas Project: Ultimately, a totally automated therapy with built-in algorithms that will incorporate blood sugar levels and other parameters to adjust the insulin delivery on its own to achieve targeted ranges, much like a non-diabetic’s pancreas does. This year the project and research has taken some great strides through additional clinical trials, and we are closer than ever to commercialization of this technology to be available in the marketplace.
A big and groundbreaking story this year was the exciting breakthroughs in the Encapsulation Project. The FDA approved human clinical trials of the Viacyte encapsulation therapy. Encapsulation is a therapy in which , through an outpatient procedure, a specialized packet filled with beta cells is inserted under the skin. The packet is permeable, allowing the beta cells to secrete hormones like insulin while keeping those cells safe from the immune system attack. The goal is for this procedure to enable the patient to live insulin free for a period of 18-24 months before having to repeat the process. This is truly a marvelous and groundbreaking therapeutic breakthrough that can revolutionize the management of Type 1 Diabetes.
Parallel with this project is the availability of huge supplies of beta cells to use in encapsulation. JDRF-supported Harvard University researcher Doug Melton Ph.D., has developed a method for converting human stem cells (both embryonic and non-embryonic types) into insulin-producing beta cells in the lab. The new method will significantly speed the conversion process. Dr. Melton’s new method is an important advance towards potential large-scale, rapid production of human beta cells and JDRF has announced another multi-million multi-year grant to fund this exciting and promising research.
These are all amazing and exciting advances that would not be possible without all of you!
At this year’s event you will learn how JDRF is on the cusp of more amazing research, which is why on this One Night we will honor the promise of research while we come together as One to make an even bigger difference in the lives of people living with diabetes until Type One becomes Type None!
For questions or more information call the office at 239-591-2825 Ext. 0