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Lilly and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Partner to Fund Regenerative Medicine Research in Type 1 Diabetes
Date:2/3/2011

nical research effort to be led by Dr. Pedro Herrera of the University of Geneva. Previous research by Dr. Herrera showed that alpha cells in the pancreas can spontaneously, and without genetic manipulation, convert into beta cells. This suggests that alpha cell reprogramming could be a viable strategy for regenerating beta cells in people with type 1 diabetes.  

Building on this research, Dr. Herrera will collaborate with Lilly researchers to better understand these findings with the goal of translating them into potential drug targets and eventually, perhaps, even new therapies.

"As part of JDRF's focus on regeneration research, we see this collaboration as a critical opportunity to nurture new strategies to restore insulin production in people with type 1 diabetes. Previous efforts to reprogram non-beta cells into insulin-producing cells without genetic manipulation have not easily translated into therapies for type 1 diabetes," said Patricia Kilian, Ph.D., JDRF's Director of Regeneration Program.

"Collaborative research efforts like this can help address critical gaps to accelerate potentially promising research to patients," added Karin Hehenberger, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president of Strategic Alliances for JDRF. "We seek partners who can help us deliver on our commitment to people living with diabetes, and Lilly has a long and productive history in the diabetes therapeutic space."

The agreement between JDRF and Lilly comes on the heels of a separate announcement in which Lilly and Boehinger Ingelheim said they will jointly develop and commercialize a portfolio of diabetes compounds currently in mid- and late-stage development.

About JDRF

JDRF is the worldwide leader for research to cure type 1 diabetes. It sets the global agenda for diabetes research, and is the largest charitable funder and advocate of diabetes science world-wide.

The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its compli
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