HHS Releases Progress Report on Type 1 Diabetes Research

HHS Secretary Thompson Greets Children with Diabetes

Welcoming 200 delegates to the Children’s Congress of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today released an HHS progress report on research in type 1 diabetes made possible by special statutory funding.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Formerly known as insulin-dependent diabetes, it often strikes children and young adults, who must rely on insulin injections or an insulin pump for survival.

“We’ve made meaningful, measurable progress in understanding and treating type 1 diabetes, one of the most common chronic diseases in children,” Secretary Thompson said. “People with this disease are living longer with a better quality of life and fewer complications. At the pace research is moving and with the exciting, innovative studies underway, we can expect that discoveries in the underlying biology of diabetes will lead to a new generation of prevention and treatment.”

>From fiscal year 1998 through fiscal year 2008, the special funding

>program

provides a total of $1.14 billion in research funds to supplement other funds for type 1 diabetes research provided through the regular appropriations process.

“With these special funds we’ve been able to bring together talented scientists from around the world to attack the research challenges posed by type 1 diabetes and work together to develop new treatments. These projects exploit critical scientific opportunities and couldn’t have been undertaken without this special funding,” said Dr. Judith Fradkin of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under the HHS.

HHS agencies — NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

— as well as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the American Diabetes Association developed a rigorous plan for using the special funds by relying on scientific conferences and the recommendations of the congressionally established Diabetes Research Working Group, a panel of 12 leading diabetes researchers and four lay people.

The Report on Progress and Opportunities: Special Statutory Funding for Type 1 Diabetes Research describes recent achievements and major projects now underway that address unmet research needs in type 1 diabetes.

Research projects described in the report address six broad goals: to identify the genetic and environmental contributors to type 1 diabetes; to prevent or reverse type 1 diabetes; to develop cell replacement therapy; to prevent or reduce hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetes; to prevent or reduce the complications of type 1 diabetes; and to attract new talent to research on type 1 diabetes.

The full report, including details of the research projects addressing each goal, is available on the NIDDK Web site (). Single copies are free of charge from NIDDK’s National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse at 1-800-860-8747.

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