Let me give you the punch line up front: 63% of the treatments currently in human trials have been funded by JDRF. (And the number is 81% for the later phase trials.) This is a strong impact; one that any non-profit should be proud of. This summary does not include Artificial Pancreas research or stem cell growth trials, because there are so many of those that it would be hard to include them all.
Below is a list of all the potential cures, grouped by phase of trial that they are currently in, and separated into potential cures that JDRF has funded, and those that JDRF has never funded.
(Established) One or more trials are open to people who have had type-1 diabetes for over a year.
(Presymptomatics) One more more trials are open to people who have 2 or more autoantibodies, but have not yet started showing symptoms of type-1 diabetes.
(Prevention) This treatment is aimed at preventing type-1 diabetes, not curing it.
Starting Last Year: Phase-II? Trials
Starting last year, I divided Phase-II trials into two groups. Phase-II trials are "classic" phase-II trials; they are done after a successful Phase-I trial in type-1 diabetes. What I call Phase-II? trials are done with treatments which are known safe, so they don't need Phase-I trials, but have never been tested on type-1 diabetes before. These Phase-II? trials might be Phase-II from the point of view of safety, but they are Phase-I in terms of effectiveness, so I'm putting them in their own category.
Summary: currently there is only one treatment in a phase-III clinical trial, and that is aimed at prevention. It is funded by JDRF. While I see the benefit of prevention, this is the sixth year in a row there have been no phase-III trials aimed at curing existing type-1 diabetes, and it's not a good thing. Even worse, I don't see a phase-III study starting even next year. Some people might be discouraged by that, but for me, it's a reason to donate. Money is the thing that is going to move the Phase-II studies listed below into Phase-III studies, and the Phase-I studies to Phase-II, create more Phase-I studies, and so on.Summary: there are 22 trials in phase-II, and 17 of them have been funded by JDRF, while 5 have not. Here are the treatments that have been funded by JDRF:
- Oral Insulin (Preventative)
- AAT (Alpha-1 Antitrypsin) by Grifols Therapeutics and also Kamada
- ATG and GCSF by Haller at University of Florida (Established)
- Abatacept by Orban at Joslin Diabetes Center
- Abatacept by Skyler at University of Miami (Prevention)
- Aldesleukin (Proleukin) at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, UK
- Diabecell by Living Cell Technologies (Established)
- Diamyd, Ibuprofen ("Advil"), and Vitamin D by Ludvigsson at Linköping University
- Diamyd, Etanercep, and Vitamin D by Ludvigsson at Linköping University
- Diamyd and Vitamin D by Larsson at Lund University (Prevention)
- Gleevec by Gitelman at UCSF
- Gluten Free Diet: Three Studies (Preventative)
- Polyclonal Tregs by both Trzonkowski and Gitelman
- Stem Cell Educator by Zhao (Established)
- Teplizumab (AbATE study team)
- Teplizumab by Herold/Skyler/Rafkin (Prevention)
- Tocilizumab by Greenbaum/Buckner at Benaroya Research Institute
- Umbilical Cord Blood Infusion by Haller at University of Florida
- Ustekinumab by University of British Columbia
- Verapamil by Shalev/Ovalle at University of Alabama at Birmingham
- ATG and autotransplant by Burt, and also Snarski, and also Li
- BCG by Faustman at MGH (Established)
- Dual Stem Cell by Tan at Fuzhou General Hospital
- Stem Cells of Arabia (Established)
- Vitamin D by Stephens at Nationwide Children's Hospital (Prevention)
Summary: there are 8 trials in phase-II, and 2 of them has been funded by JDRF, while 7 have not. Here are the treatments that have been funded by JDRF:
- Rituximab by Pescovitz at Indiana University
- Intranasal Insulin by Harrison at Melbourne Health (Prevention)
- Albiglutide by GlaxoSmithKline
- Golimumab by Janssen
- Ladarixin by Emanuele Bosi of Dompé Farmaceutici
- Liraglutid (Presymptomatics)
- NNC0114-0006 and Liraglutide by Novo-Norsk
- Rapamycin Vildagliptin Combo by IRCCS (Established)
Summary: there are 24 trials in phase-I, and 15 of them are funded by JDRF, while 9 are not. Here is the list funded by JDRF:
- Alefacept by TrialNet
- ßAir by Beta-O2's at Uppsala University Hospital in Sweden (Established)
- TOL-3021 by Bayhill Therapeutics (Established)
- CGSF by Haller at University of Florida
- Trucco at Children’s Hospital of Pitt / Dendritic Cells (DV-0100) by DiaVacs (Established)
- Exsulin and Ustekinumab by Rosenberg at Jewish General Hospital, Canada (Established)
- IBC-VS01 by Orban at Joslin Diabetes Center
- Metformin by Littleford at The University of Exeter (Prevention)
- MultiPepT1De (Multi Peptide Vaccine) by Powrie at King’s College London
- Nasal insulin by Harrison at Melbourne Health (Prevention)
- Smart Insulin (MK-2640) by Merck (Established)
- Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid (TUDCA) by Goland at Columbia University
- Polyclonal Tregs by both Trzonkowski and Gitelman
- Pro insulin peptide by Dayan at Cardiff University
- VC-01 by Viacyte (Established)
- CGSF and autotransplant by Esmatjes at Hospital Clinic of Barcelona (Established)
- Encapsulated Islets at University clinical Hospital Saint-Luc (Established)
- Gluten Free Diet by Carlsson at Lund University
- Mesenchymal Stromal Cell by Carlsson at Uppsala University
- Microvesicles (MVs) and Exosomes by Nassar at Sahel Teaching Hospital
- Monolayer Cellular Device (Established)
- Rilonacept by White at University of Texas
- Substance P by Vanilloid Genetics at Hospital for Sick Children Toronto (Established)
- The Sydney Project, Encapsulated Stem Cells (Established)
55 in total
35 funded by JDRF
So 63% of the human trials currently underway are funded (either directly or indirectly) by JDRF. Everyone who donates to JDRF should be proud of this huge impact; and everyone who works for JDRF or volunteers for it, should be doubly proud.
17 of these treatments (31%) are being tested on established type-1 diabetics.
Of these, 8 are funded by JDRF
So 47% of the trials recruiting established type-1 diabetics are funded by JDRF.
Compared to Last Year
In 2016 there were 42 treatments in clinical trials, in 2017 there are 55 (growth of 31%)
In 2016 there were no treatments in Phase-III trials, in 2017 there is one.
In 2016 there were 22 treatments in Phase-II and Phase-II? trials, in 2017 there are 30 (growth of 36%).
In 2016 there were 20 treatments in Phase-I trials, in 2017 there are 24 (growth of 20%).
A Little Discussion
Although the growth of 31% looks really good, I'm a little worried that that high growth number is because of a mistake on my part. In previous years, I would review the research and remove everything that had failed or was going nowhere for too long. However, this year, I was hit by some extra work at my real job, and so did not have time to check the older research to see if it was still active. My guess is that some of the research still listed here really should be removed, and I'll do that over the next few months. Still, I do think there was growth this year, just not 31% growth.
How I Count Trials for This Comparison
- I give an organization credit for funding a cure if it funded that cure at any point in it's development cycle.
- I mark the start of a research trial when the researchers start recruiting patients (and if there is any uncertainty, when the first patient is dosed). Some researchers talk about starting a trial when they submit the paper work, which is usually months earlier.
- If there are different clinical trials aimed at proving effectiveness as a cure and as a preventative, or effectiveness in honeymooners and established diabetics, then those are counted separately.
- For trials which use combinations of two or more different treatments, I give funding credit, if the organization in the past funded any component of a combination treatment, or if they are funding the current combined treatment. Also, I list experiments separately if they use at least one different drug.
- The ITN (Immune Tolerance Network) has JDRF as a major funder, so I count ITN as indirect JDRF funding.
- I have made no attempt to find out how much funding different organizations gave to different research. This would be next to impossible for long research programs, anyway.
- Funding of research is not my primary interest, so I don't spend a lot of time tracking down details in this area. I might be wrong on details.
- I use the term "US Gov" for all the different branches and organizations within the United States of America's federal government (so includes NIDDK, NIAID, NICHD, etc.)
- I don't work for the US Gov, JDRF, or any of the other organizations discussed here. I have a more complete non-conflict of interest statement on my web site.
- Oral Insulin: This trial was a phase-III trial, meaning that it was large and designed to provide enough information so that if, if successful, the treatment could be widely used. However, as it turned out, only part was successful, and that part was phase-II sized, so I don't think we will see widespread use based on this trial alone. You can think of this as a phase-III trial with phase-II results.
- Serova's Cell Pouch and DRI's BioHub: These two clinical trials are both testing one piece of infrastructure which might be used later in a cure. They are testing a part of a potential cure. However, in both cases, the clinical trials being run now require immunosuppression for the rest of the patient's life, so I'm not counting them as testing a cure.
- Substance P at Hospital for Sick Children Toronto: This trial is avoiding the honeymoon period by testing for insulin production. Patients must inject more than 1/2 unit/kg to be accepted, therefore they will accept recently diagnosed people, if they are injecting enough insulin to be passed the honeymoon. I'm counting this as "Established".
Finally, please remember that my blog (and therefore this posting) covers research aimed at curing or preventing type-1 diabetes that is currently being tested in humans. There is a lot more research going on, not covered here.Please think of this posting as being my personal "thank you" note to all the JDRF staff, volunteers, and everyone who donates money to research a cure for type-1 diabetes:
Thank You!Finally, if you see any mistakes or oversights in this posting, please tell me! There is a lot of information packed into this small posting, and I've made mistakes in the past. As in previous years, I'll be at the Santa Clara (California) JDRF One Walk. Come by and say "hi", or strike up a conversation about research. I love to talk about research!
publicjoshualevy at gmail dot com
All the views expressed here are those of Joshua Levy, and nothing here is official JDRF or JDCA news, views, policies or opinions. My daughter has type-1 diabetes and participates in clinical trials, which might be discussed here. My blog contains a more complete non-conflict of interest statement. Thanks to everyone who helps with the blog.