Your Money at Work

JDRF has a bold plan for the future of type 1 diabetes (T1D) research in Canada. As better treatments unfold and the prospect of curing this disease rests on the horizon, we remain ever-committed to directing more resources to launch and sustain innovative research and clinical trials from coast-to-coast. Transforming Lives: Today and Tomorrow is our solution to accelerating diabetes breakthroughs in partnership with the community we support.

JDRF Research Funding Overview

Since its founding in 1970 (1974 in Canada), JDRF has funded more than $1.9 billion (U.S.) in T1D research and has dramatically advanced the T1D scientific frontier and the management of this disease. In 2014, JDRF provided more than $98.3 million (U.S.) for T1D research.

  • As more JDRF programs move forward, the number of human or clinical studies has grown. In 2014, JDRF supported more than 50 clinical studies, including evaluations of new therapies, studies of the normal course of T1D, and others to collect specific T1D human samples.
 

A Look Back – Celebrating Success

Take a glimpse at some of the groundbreaking research innovations for T1D over the decades supported, in large part, by JDRF funding. The breadth of our achievements, and their impact on the fight to cure T1D, demonstrates why JDRF has been so successful in driving diabetes research for more than four decades.

1970s

The first test to measure long-term blood sugar levels – the haemoglobin A1C test – is developed with JDRF scientific backing. Thanks to this test, doctors can determine how well someone is controlling their diabetes over a period of months.

1980s

JDRF scientists established the relationship between low blood sugar and brain metabolism, helping to better understand and prevent the chronic effects of lower blood sugar on the brain.

1990s

JDRF researchers were the first to confirm that high blood sugar levels lead to increased risk of diabetic eye disease.

2000s

JDRF researchers led by Dr. James Shapiro at the University of Alberta unveiled the Edmonton Protocol for islet transplants, which uses less toxic immune-suppressing drugs and greatly improves transplant success rates.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a computer model of diabetes developed by JDRF researchers, helping to accelerate development of a working artificial pancreas and eliminating the need for animal testing.

JDRF-funded human clinical trials definitely show that people with T1D who regularly use CGM devices to help manage their blood sugar experience significant improvements in blood sugar control, without increasing their risk of low blood sugar emergencies.

JDRF Canadian Clinical Trial Network (CCTN) is created in partnership with the Government of Canada with a commitment of $20 million by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), with an additional $13.9 million contribution from JDRF. The $33.9 million investment will help accelerate solutions for the management, care and cure of T1D.

JDRF CCTN successfully launches clinical trials and technology projects across four areas of research: Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Technologies and the Artificial Pancreas Project (APP), Diabetes Complications, Immune Therapies and Clinical Care Programs.

JDRF researchers identify a new drug that stimulates beta cell regeneration.

JDRF and Selecta BioSciences enter into a research collaboration agreement to develop vaccines to prevent T1D.

JDRF scientists identify key triggers for beta cell regeneration. JDRF funds over 50 human clinical trials compared to only five in 2001.

JDRF funding brings us closer to clinical trials involving human embryonic stem cells for replacing beta cell function.

The JDRF Artificial Pancreas Consortium conducts the first real-world test of an artificial pancreas system. Based on the results, JDRF-supported real-world ambulatory testing begins, moving us a step closer to delivering these systems to patients.

JDRF funds research to develop faster-acting insulin and to advance other therapies that decrease insulin requirements or the risk of hypoglycemia.

Donation of $3 million to JDRF CCTN from the WB Family Foundation, the $36.9 million investment is accelerating the testing of new technologies and treatments for Canadians and individuals around the world living with T1D and its complications.

JDRF-supported researchers invent a way to protect newly introduced beta cells from further immune attack, thus accelerating progress on beta cell encapsulation science which has the potential to allow people with T1D to achieve complete or partial insulin dependence.

JDRF-supported academic researchers identify pathways to stimulate beta cell proliferation, which would aid the body’s ability to produce insulin.

JDRF’s CCTN announces launch of expansion to western Canada.

JDRF and regenerative medicine company, ViaCyte announce Health Canada’s approval to test a beta cell encapsulation therapy that would implant a patient with cells which have the ability to release insulin in a glucose-responsive manner in a protective barrier. 

Research Funding Facts

JDRF's research mission is to discover, develop, and deliver advances that cure, better treat, and prevent T1D. As the global leader in the fight against T1D, JDRF's research programs are comprehensive – addressing the hopes and dreams of every person with T1D for the best quality of life and a cure for this disease.