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Presenter: Julia, Greenstein, New York, United States
Authors: Julia Greenstein
JDRF (previously known as Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) has been supporting work in the area of encapsulation research for almost 10 years and has built a network of funded projects into the JDRF Encapsulation Consortium. Based on the success of pancreas and islet transplantation in providing biological glucose control, we want to assure availability of unlimited sources of beta cells and islets and methodology to remove the need for chronic immunosuppression, so that a larger number of people with T1D could have the therapeutic option of beta cell replacement.
The goals of our funded program are to drive innovation in the area of encapsulation and alternative beta cell sources for therapeutic approaches to address clinical needs of people with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). We understood that progress in this area would demand collaborative efforts of groups with very different areas of expertise and therefore our funded grantees are asked to join the consortium to foster collaboration and to establish a venue for pre-publication data sharing governed by consortium policy. We believe that the consortium has been successful and that the ongoing research is making real progress from in vitro experiments to small and large animal functional studies and ultimately to the evaluation of function in people with T1D via clinical trials. The funded work spans addressing the key gaps of novel biomaterials, functional biocompatibility of these materials, device and capsule designs to enhance function of the transplanted functional beta cells and islets and protection from the immune response specific to the foreign tissue and the autoimmune response that is characteristic of individuals with T1D. One of our important goals is to also make sure our investigators are thinking about the regulatory environment as their experiments progress and are planning the most direct path to get early evaluation of their approaches in clinical trials.
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