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T1D Exchange Awarded $2.8M Grant by JDRF to Study Metformin and Type 1 Diabetes

BOSTON, Nov. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- T1D Exchange, the first program of the new nonprofit organization Unitio, has received a $2.8 million research grant from JDRF to study the use of metformin—a drug used as first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes—in combination with standard insulin therapy in overweight adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

The study will include a minimum of 136 adolescents with type 1 diabetes who are overweight and have failed to achieve optimal blood sugar control with insulin alone. Study participants will continue insulin therapy and will be randomly assigned to receive either metformin or a placebo. Blood sugar control and side effects of the treatment will be assessed over a 6-month period.  In a concurrent study involving a subset of the participants, testing will be done to assess whether metformin improves insulin sensitivity.

"We are very excited to partner with JDRF in this important study to better understand the benefits and risks of the use of metformin in overweight adolescents with type 1 diabetes and evidence of insulin resistance," said Dana Ball, executive director and co-founder of T1D Exchange. "JDRF and T1D Exchange share the goal of improving the lives of people with type 1 diabetes, and we look forward to future collaborative opportunities."

The efficacy of metformin, a drug that is used to control the amount of glucose in the blood of those with type 2 diabetes, is largely unknown for those with type 1 diabetes.

"For more than 90 years, insulin has been the primary therapy for people with type 1 diabetes; but the fact remains that despite vigilant management, glycemic control is a huge challenge for many with the disease," said Sanjoy Dutta, Ph.D., senior director of treat therapies at JDRF. "Previous studies have built a body of evidence showing the potential of certain adjunct therapies, such as metformin, to reduce insulin dependence, improve glucose control, and provide additional benefits to individuals with type 1 diabetes. Since metformin has been safely and effectively used for more than 50 years, positive results from this study could help to accelerate an improvement in the standard of care for people with type 1 diabetes—an important goal for JDRF."

Since its founding, T1D Exchange has been focused on understanding the root cause of type 1 diabetes in addition to realizing effective treatments, accelerating research, and helping to improve patient outcomes. Other T1D Exchange areas of focus include non-insulin therapies, factors contributing to severe hypoglycemia, and automated insulin delivery technologies.

About T1D Exchange
T1D Exchange was founded on the premise that finding faster, better therapies for type 1 diabetes (T1D) requires a research model as multi-faceted as the disease itself. T1D Exchange acts as a convener of the thousands of people working to improve patient outcomes already—by connecting them to one another and to the patient community at large. Drawing on decades of research and data that have come before, T1D Exchange aims to be the translational engine that enables the entire T1D ecosystem to collaborate in truly novel ways via the integration of a clinic network, clinic registry, biorepository, and the online patient/caregiver community, Glu.

For more information, please visit

About JDRF
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF's goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people's lives until we achieve a world without T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, regulatory influence, and a working plan to better treat, prevent, and eventually cure T1D.

As the largest charitable supporter of T1D research, JDRF is currently sponsoring $530 million in scientific research in 17 countries. In 2012 alone, JDRF provided more than $110 million to T1D research. More than 80 percent of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and research-related education. In 2012 Forbes magazine named JDRF one of its five All-Star charities, citing the organization's efficiency and effectiveness.

For more information, please visit

About Unitio
Unitio is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to connect researchers, physicians, and patients battling disease in a way that facilitates discoveries, accelerates treatments, and provides answers to some of the most pressing questions. Unitio's real-world, patient data platform is designed to accelerate all aspects of drug and device development via an integrated system of people and institutions already working hard to decode different parts of complex diseases by connecting them to one another and to their patient communities.

For more information, please visit

SOURCE T1D Exchange
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