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New public and private partnership launched to tackle type 1 diabetes

DiabetesInsulinKing’s College London has joined a public private partnership (PPP) aimed at significantly improving the understanding of type 1 diabetes (T1D) and to work towards better therapies for preventing and curing the disease.

The INNODIA consortium is made up of 33 partners from academia, medium-sized enterprises (SME), large pharmaceutical companies and patient organisations. It is supported by The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry and by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF) and The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The consortium has received €36.5 million funding to carry out its work.

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic disease affecting around 17 million people worldwide. The disease may present at any age, but most typically develops in early life with a peak around puberty. The scientific insights to the triggering events, disease susceptibility, and subsequent pathophysiological events leading to a failing beta-cell function and beta-cell loss in human type 1 diabetes are quite limited. Rational disease modifying therapeutic approaches to address type 1 diabetes are not available today.

The INNODIA consortium is aiming to advance in a decisive way how to predict, stage, evaluate and prevent the onset and progression of type 1 diabetes. This will be achieved by creating novel tools, such as biomarkers, disease models and clinical trial paradigms. These tools will help to distinguish and understand distinctive paths of ontogeny and progression in this heterogeneous disease at the cellular and molecular level, thus impacting the future management of T1D patients and at risk individuals.

Professor Mark Peakman and Dr Timothy Tree from the Division of Immunology, Infection & Inflammatory Disease at King’s, will be responsible for implementation of an Immunology Research Hub for type 1 diabetes within INNODIA. Professor Peakman said ‘This is a really exciting moment for research in type 1 diabetes in Europe. We are establishing a new, integrated research network that will span the natural history of type 1 diabetes, and bring academic investigators (clinical and science-based) close to our industry counterparts. That should make for a new era in discoveries and therapeutics’.

To find out more, visit the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) website.