JDRF Canada Supports Innovative Type 1 Diabetes Research

JDRF funds study to identify genetic determinants of kidney disease in type 1 diabetes

Toronto, ON (October 17, 2012) – JDRF Canada is pleased to announce funding of a study seeking to ultimately improve the diagnosis, screening, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in diabetes. Led by Dr. Andrew Paterson at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), the three-year longitudinal study – Genetics of the Decline in Glomerular Filtration Rate in Type 1 Diabetes – will analyze data from 2,800 individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) from four separate studies conducted over a period of up to 20 years.

“We are very excited to receive support for this study from JDRF, as knowledge gained from genetics can lead to new strategies to prevent and delay kidney disease development,” said Dr. Paterson, senior scientist, Genetics & Genome Biology, SickKids. “This funding will help identify the genetic variants that are associated with differences in the rate of decline of kidney function between individuals with type 1 diabetes. It will help provide new insight into disease processes, potentially allowing new screening approaches and opening up avenues for new treatments.”

Despite major effort, identifying the specific genes for diabetic kidney disease has proved challenging due to the limitations of most studies. Although it is known that kidney disease develops slowly over an extended period of time, most studies only have a single measure of urine albumin – a marker for kidney disease – which is not a direct measure of kidney function. In addition, these studies typically collect only a single measure of important non-genetic risk factors (such as blood sugar and blood pressure) at the same time that the albumin is measured in the urine. There is strong evidence that the long-term effects of blood sugar and blood pressure are more important risk factors in diabetic kidney disease compared with a single measure.

“Genetics holds great promise in identifying the underlying causes of kidney disease in type 1 diabetes,” said Dr. Paterson. “Ultimately, it could ultimately lead to improved health outcomes and better quality of life for people affected by the disease.”

“JDRF is committed to improving the lives of the more than 300,000 Canadian children, adolescents, and adults living with type 1 diabetes,” said Andrew McKee, president and CEO, JDRF Canada. “As the global leader in the fight against type 1 diabetes, JDRF research unites the best and brightest minds from across Canada and supports those programs with the greatest potential of achieving our goals. We are proud to be working with Dr. Paterson, funding critical research that supports our mission of finding a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications.”

Currently, JDRF is funding more than $59 million in research projects across Canada, including $11.4 million through 14 active research grants in Ontario alone.

About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization focused on T1D research. Driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents, and adults with this disease, JDRF is now the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. The goal of JDRF research is to improve the lives of all people affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners who share this goal.

Since its founding in 1970 (1974 in Canada), JDRF has awarded more than $1.6 billion (US) to diabetes research. Past JDRF efforts have helped to significantly advance the care of people with this disease, and have expanded the critical scientific understanding of T1D. JDRF will not rest until T1D is fully conquered. For more information, please visit www.jdrf.ca.

For more information about the study, or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Erinn Piller
JDRF Canada

Lets turn type one into type none