Funding commitment helps remove barriers to life-saving technology for Canadians living with type 1 diabetes

TD Bank Group supports JDRF’s Access for All program through the TD Ready Commitment.

May 26, 2021 – Each day, as many as 300,000 Canadians living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) will make up to 300 decisions about their care. A wrong decision could mean life or death. T1D is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. It is not preventable, and its cause is unknown.

Although injecting insulin keeps a person with T1D alive, it is not a cure. Even with insulin therapy, blood sugar levels in a person with T1D can fluctuate to dangerous highs and lows. These swings in blood sugar are life-threatening and can lead to long-term complications such as kidney disease, heart disease and blindness.

Continuous glucose monitoring systems, flash glucose monitoring systems and insulin pumps help keep people out of hospital and reduce long-term complications. JDRF is advocating to break down existing inequalities by making these devices accessible for all Canadians living with T1D through its Access for All initiative, a pillar of its larger $100M Campaign to Accelerate launched earlier this year.  

“JDRF believes that no Canadian should have to worry about how they will afford life-changing devices that could prevent dangerous diabetes-related events. We believe in Access for All,” says Dave Prowten, President and CEO of JDRF Canada.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also underscored the need and opportunity for virtual and remote care models.T1D technology allows patients to connect with their health care teams online to remotely share real-time data, fostering better disease management from home, which is a tremendous benefit for those living in rural and remote regions where access to health care services are limited. Virtual care provides access that would otherwise not exist – further removing inequities in care, and can be optimized with the use of the new diabetes technologies.

TD has stepped forward to support Access for All with a goal of improving the lives of those living with T1D.

“We know that many people face barriers to accessing quality and affordable healthcare in our country. Through the TD Ready Commitment, our global corporate citizenship platform, we’re proud to continue our longstanding relationship with JDRF and support the Access for All program to ensure more equitable health outcomes for people living with type 1 diabetes and reduce the treatment burden of the disease.” Said Naki Osutei, Associate Vice President, Social Impact, Canada, TD Bank Group. 

“JDRF is extremely grateful for TD’s support. Access for All provides critical support to our type 1 diabetes community with its effort to increase and improve access and improve the lives of Canadians living with T1D”, says Ryan MacDonald, JDRF’s Campaign to Accelerate Co-Chair.

To learn more about JDRF’s #AccessForAll check out jdrf.ca/accessforall.

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About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2.8 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, governments, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout Canada and six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.ca.

For more information:

Vanessa Parent

Bilingual Marketing & Communications Specialist, JDRF Canada

C: (647) 459-7881

vparent@jdrf.ca

Government of Canada invests $35M in research and a national framework for diabetes

JDRF Canada is grateful to the Government of Canada for its commitment to honouring the centenary of the discovery of insulin in the 2021 federal budget. The budget proposes an investment of $35M for research into type 1 diabetes, surveillance and prevention, and to work towards the development of a national framework for diabetes. Continued investment in diabetes research and care will ensure those living with the disease can live healthier, safer and easier lives. It will also ensure that Canada continues as a world leader in T1D clinical trials and translational research. As we learn more details around this investment, we will be sure to share them with you.

Below is a quote from the Federal Budget 2021:

Establishing a National Framework for Diabetes

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, a Nobel Prizewinning accomplishment by Canadian researchers that has helped to save millions of lives. 3.2 million Canadians live with diabetes, a disease which can lead to a variety of complications, such as heart disease and stroke, blindness, and amputation. Type 2 diabetes makes up 90 per cent of all cases of diabetes in Canada and, like other chronic diseases, is largely preventable. Adults with diabetes are also at greater risk of more severe COVID-19 symptoms, including respiratory distress and pneumonia. Budget 2021 proposes to provide $25 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, to Health Canada for additional investments for research on diabetes (including in juvenile diabetes), surveillance, and prevention, and to work towards the development of a national framework for diabetes. This framework will be developed in consultation with provinces and territories, Indigenous groups, and stakeholders, and will help to support improved access to prevention and treatment, and better health outcomes for Canadians.

Manitoba and Saskatchewan Announce Expanded Coverage for Diabetes Technology

Wednesday, April 7, 2021, Toronto, ON – “JDRF Canada applauds this week’s provincial government announcements out of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, which are expanding access to insulin pumps and continuous and flash glucose monitoring devices for those living with type 1 diabetes,” says Dave Prowten, president and CEO, JDRF Canada.

In the budget announced Tuesday on April 6th, Saskatchewan committed to creating a new program which will cover the costs of continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) and flash glucose monitors (Flash GMs) up to age 18 and expand the Saskatchewan Insulin Pump Program to all ages. Said Dustin Halvorson, parent of a child with type 1 diabetes: “Our family is so happy to see the provincial government follow through with their promise to expand coverage for individuals and families living with type 1 diabetes. This week’s announcement shows we’re being heard and that those who have the burden of monitoring their blood sugar levels minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day are going to have access to technology to help them live easier, healthier, safer lives moving forward.”

Manitoba announced Wednesday that it will begin covering CGMs up to age 25 and will expand coverage under the Manitoba Pediatric Insulin Pump Program by changing the age limit on eligibility from under 18 to under 25. Manitoba and Saskatchewan join the Yukon as the only three Canadian provinces or territories to cover CGMs. Ontario and Quebec cover Flash GMs for some with type 1 diabetes.

As for insulin pumps, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, the territories and now Saskatchewan cover pumps for all ages. With today’s announcement, all other provinces, except Quebec, cover until age 25. Quebec is now the sole remaining province that stops coverage for insulin pumps at age 18.

“With type 1 diabetes care having gone online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, technologies such as continuous and flash glucose monitoring are becoming more and more important as they’re helping to drive the transition to virtual and remote care. As well, moving the age limit to age 25 for insulin pumps will help young Manitobans transition from pediatric to adult care and use these important and evolving technologies. We’re grateful for the Manitoba government’s efforts to expand access for Manitobans with type 1 diabetes,” says Dr. Nick Hajidiacos, JDRF board member, internal medicine specialist and parent of a child with type 1 diabetes.

For Canadians living with type 1 diabetes, self-management is accomplished through careful measurement of blood glucose and administration of insulin. CGMs and Flash GMs rely on sensors attached to the body which measure glucose in the interstitial fluid just below the skin, replacing the traditional finger prick method. The glucose reading is sent to the screen of a reader device, a smartphone or an insulin pump, providing users with an up-to-date reading of glucose every few minutes – readings which help the user calculate insulin dosage. These devices can also include alarms that alert the user and/or their caregivers if blood sugar levels are rising or dropping rapidly and require urgent action.

Studies show that use of diabetes technologies such as insulin pumps, CGMs and Flash GMs help improve self-management of diabetes, including important measures such as overall blood glucose (HbA1C) and time in target range (TIR), keeping more people out of hospital.

“Without government support, many adults and children living with diabetes will continue to struggle to manage the cost, or worse, be forced to make do with inferior and out-of-date technology,” adds Prowten. “This will only increase the divide between those who can and those who cannot afford these technologies. We’re urging all provinces to move forward with similar measures to increase access to the technology Canadians need to manage their type 1 diabetes.”

JDRF credits the grassroots efforts of parent groups in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, as well as medical students at the University of Saskatchewan, for elevating the need for provincial coverage for diabetes technologies.

Improving access to advanced glucose monitoring devices and insulin pumps for all Canadians living with type 1 diabetes is the goal of JDRF’s Access for All campaign. Type 1 diabetes devices help those living with the disease better self manage it, leading to improved health outcomes and better quality of life.

To learn more about JDRF’s #AccessForAll campaign check out jdrf.ca/accessforall.

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For more information contact:

Vanessa Parent

JDRF Canada

514-262-6346

vparent@jdrf.ca

B.C.’s Glucose Monitoring Health Technology Assessment ignores evolution in technology and evidence

April 1, 2021

Diabetes Canada is joined by JDRF Canada and Type 1 Together in expressing disappointment with the recommendations recently published by British Columbia’s Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Committee. The data used to inform the review are out-of-date and do not take into consideration all the evidence, patient voice, or the future health-care environment.

“Diabetes is a complex disease, with no ‘one size fits all’ approach to treatment and care,” says Seema Nagpal, Vice-President of Science & Policy with Diabetes Canada. “Diabetes management varies greatly between individuals and it is the role of the health-care provider and patient to determine individualized therapy and treatment plan based on best evidence. Unfortunately, advanced glucose monitoring devices such as Flash Glucose Monitors and Continuous Glucose Monitors are not accessible to many people living with diabetes who can benefit, which is why Diabetes Canada urges governments to publicly fund these proven technologies.”

“The health of people with diabetes relies heavily on self-management,” says Sarah Linklater, Chief Scientific Officer of JDRF Canada. “Advanced glucose monitoring devices provide both patients and healthcare providers with a more fulsome and accurate picture of blood sugar levels. This allows people with diabetes to stay on top of their disease management and make informed treatment decisions. This means fewer complications, better overall health outcomes and improved quality of life. Government support is urgently needed to ensure the gap in care between those who can access and afford these technologies versus those who cannot do not widen leading to inequity in our health care system.”

Diabetes Canada, JDRF Canada, and Type 1 Together caution the B.C. government on using the HTA recommendations to form healthy public policy. Much of the research cited within the report was published three or more years ago, and there’s been considerable advancement in technology since that time. These results are reported on outdated systems that are inconsistent with the pace of technological innovation in diabetes devices. Additionally, the recommendations do not take into consideration blood glucose ‘time in range,’ which can provide additional information that using A1C testing information alone.  The narrow review criteria have resulted in ill-informed recommendations.

“The current pandemic climate has put a spotlight on the critical need for proven digital health resources to support those living with chronic illness such as diabetes,” says Nagpal. “We urge the B.C. government to listen to patients and use the latest scientific evidence to support better health outcomes for British Columbians living with diabetes.”

"I am disheartened by this report and its conclusions. How does PharmaCare expect people living with type 1 diabetes to continuously manage over a lifetime without proper tools?" Jen Alexander, Founder of Type 1 Together

“I cannot really express how heartsick and angry this makes me. These recommendations manage to be even worse than anything I had imagined.” Nadine Pedersen, mom of a child with type 1 diabetes and member of the Diabetes Coalition.

As recently as last fall, Diabetes Canada provided the B.C. government with an analysis of responses from 873 individuals regarding an assessment of advance glucose monitoring devices. This public submission noted patients frequently describe how unrelenting the disease can be and its heavy impact on daily life. A device that can help to lessen the burden as well as improve diabetes management has value and should not be ignored by the B.C. government.

 

About Advanced Glucose Monitoring Technology

Advanced glucose monitoring gives people living with diabetes an accurate picture of their blood sugar management, which can lead to better short- and long-term treatment decisions. The main purposes for checking glucose include:

  • Ensuring the safety of people taking insulin and some oral medications by detecting or preventing low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
  • Helping people living with diabetes make dosing decisions regarding their medication, especially insulin.
  • Judging how well changes to diet, activity, and medications are working to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Finger prick testing (using a test strip and meter) has been the standard for glucose monitoring but for some, this is not enough. There’s a wide range of circumstances where frequent or continuous monitoring is necessary, which is where other types of testing options and technology are available: Flash Glucose Monitors or Continuous Glucose Monitors. How regularly people must monitor their glucose levels depends on the type of diabetes they have, their current treatment regimen, and their risk of low blood sugar.

 

About Diabetes Canada

Diabetes Canada is the registered national charitable organization that is making the invisible epidemic of diabetes visible and urgent. Diabetes Canada partners with Canadians to End Diabetes through:

  • Resources for health-care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes.
  • Advocacy to governments, schools, and workplaces; and
  • Funding world-leading Canadian research to improve treatments and find a cure.

For more information, visit diabetes.ca or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

 

About JDRF
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $3 billion CAD in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, governments, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout Canada and six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D.  For more information, please visit jdrf.ca

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For more information or to book an interview:

Sherry Calder

Senior Manager, Communications

Diabetes Canada

C: 902-210-1799

sherry.calder@diabetes.ca

Monica Kocsmaros

Vice President, External Relations

JDRF Canada

T. 647.354.5598

E. mkocsmaros@jdrf.ca

New Data on COVID-19 Outcomes in Children with T1D

March 31, 2021

Understanding how challenging and unpredictable the COVID-19 pandemic is, especially for those impacted by type 1 diabetes (T1D), JDRF Canada continues to ensure that you have the credible and reliable information you need to help you better navigate the various and complex issues that are constantly arising.

In the early days of the pandemic, we outlined that children with T1D are not more susceptible to COVID-19 infection than their peers without T1D, and on average, children who developed COVID-19 were not at greater risk of worse COVID-19 outcomes. As the pandemic has progressed, data collection around the world has allowed a closer look at COVID-19 outcomes in different patient populations, and has reassuringly indicated that children, including those with various health concerns, generally experience mild symptoms of COVID-19. Nevertheless, new data presented at the virtual ENDO 2021 meeting on March 20, 2021 suggest some children with T1D and high HbA1c could have an increased risk of serious COVID-19 outcomes, compared with children who do not have diabetes.

What the study measured

The new study used data from 31 countries about 3047 children aged 0-18 with T1D and 502,655 children without diabetes who developed COVID-19. The research measured the risk of three outcomes: intubation, sepsis, or death due to COVID-19. The authors of the study assessed the difference in risk of these outcomes in children with T1D of differing HbA1c levels versus children without diabetes.

The results

The results are reassuring in that the risk of any of these outcomes from COVID-19 in children with or without diabetes is extremely low (<0.5%). However, the results showed that the risk is slightly higher in children with T1D. Specifically, risk of death was 0.328% (ie, less than 1/300) in children with T1D and 0.047% (around 1/2000) in children without diabetes. The risk of intubation was 0.328% in children with T1D and 0.028% in children without diabetes, and for sepsis the figures were 0.492% and 0.114%, respectively.

Importantly, for children with HbA1c of less than or equal to 7% (16% of the children with T1D in the study sample), the risk was not increased: zero of these children experienced any of the COVID-19 outcomes measured. The study authors reported that these COVID-19 outcomes might be a greater concern in children with HbA1c of 9% or greater. However, the study relied on de-identified data from electronic health records, from the TriNetX database, and did not allow examination of patient-level data (e.g. charts) to analyze many potential confounding factors that could also influence risk of the outcomes studied. In addition, at this time, the full, peer-reviewed study has not yet been formally published. Thus, these preliminary results need to be interpreted with caution.

What this means

On the basis of these new data about COVID-19 outcomes in children, JDRF Canada does not recommend that children with T1D necessarily alter activities such as attending school or other permitted activities in-person; however, as advised throughout the pandemic, all public health precautions such as social distancing and hand and respiratory hygiene remain especially important. We advise anyone with questions about their individual family situation consult their healthcare provider.

It is encouraging that COVID-19 vaccines are now or will soon be tested in children as young as 6 months old which, pending Health Canada approval, will enable younger Canadians access to COVID-19 vaccination in the near future.

Click here more information on COVID-19 and T1D.

 

Canadians with Chronic Health Conditions Reluctant to Seek Care During Pandemic, Survey Finds

Mississauga, Canada, March 31, 2021  –  Canadians living with chronic diseases – like arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease or obesity – are reluctant to seek proactive care during COVID-19, a new national survey reveals.  While Canadians may think they’re reducing potential health risks, delaying care can increase negative health outcomes and impact demand on healthcare professionals and our medical system.  

Don’t Put Your Health on Hold – Canadians are encouraged to engage healthcare professionals safely and efficiently during COVID-19.  Every province and territory offers telemedicine and virtual care offerings.  For those who need in-person care, Canadians should feel comfortable accessing their healthcare providers who offer safe, sanitized, environments for treatment. Please visit your provincial or territory Ministry of Health website for information to safely contact your healthcare professional either in-person or with telemedicine support. 

Survey results include:

  • Almost four in ten (38%) Canadians surveyed – who have been clinically diagnosed with a chronic disease – say they are avoiding the healthcare system altogether during the pandemic.
  • 13% of survey respondents who have been clinically diagnosed with a chronic condition have neither visited their physician nor had a virtual/telephone visit since the start of the pandemic.
  • Just over half (56%) of survey respondents with a chronic condition visited their physician in-person during the pandemic.

Expert statements:

  • Offering virtual care is good for patients, health care providers and the system, too. Especially in this pandemic environment, virtual medicine can facilitate delivering care. It can always be beneficial for people who live in a remote area or if they have mobility limitations. Electronic consults can help primary care providers obtain the advice of specialists for their patients. Many people affected by diabetes find virtual visits to be convenient; they experience high quality clinical care and are able to access the support they need in the virtual setting. – Seema Nagpal, Vice-President, Science & Policy, Diabetes Canada
  • Don’t delay visiting the hospital if you are worried about acute health concerns, especially if diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is suspected. DKA is a serious complication of type 1 diabetes that can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. In general, emergency departments and hospital wards are implementing all measures possible to prevent the spread of infection and are highly organized in terms of dealing separately with patients with established COVID-19, presumptive COVID-19, and without COVID-19. – Sarah Linklater, Chief Scientific Officer, JDRF Canada
  • Obesity is a serious chronic, progressive, and relapsing disease, similar to diabetes or high blood pressure, that can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health.  Like any other chronic illness, long-term, continuous and interdisciplinary care is required to effectively manage obesity. We know that obesity care has been disrupted in many places in Canada. But, there are safe and reliable ways to speak to healthcare professionals during the pandemic, such as virtual care and in some cases, in-person consultations. Don’t put your health on hold, speak to a qualified healthcare provider today. – Dr. Mary Forhan, Scientific Director Elect, Obesity Canada

About Survey

This survey, commissioned by Novo Nordisk Canada Inc., was conducted using Leger’s online panel between February 26 to 28, 2021 with 1,532 adult Canadians.  492 (35%) of the survey respondents have been clinically diagnosed with a chronic disease (e.g. arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, mood disorders, obesity, etc.).  Leger estimates a probable margin of error of ±2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

About Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk is a leading global healthcare company, founded in 1923 and headquartered in Denmark. Our purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases such as obesity and rare blood and endocrine disorders. We do so by pioneering scientific breakthroughs, expanding access to our medicines and working to prevent and ultimately cure disease. Novo Nordisk employs about 44,000 people in 80 countries and markets its own products in around 170 countries. For more information, visit novonordisk.ca, Twitter, or YouTube.

Further information:

Media:

 

 

Kate Hanna

905-301-7734

kxyh@novonordisk.com  

Tammy Alamrieh

647-395-3445

talamrieh@argylepr.com

 

JDRF Access For All Events Bring Together B.C.’s Type 1 Diabetes Community, Clinicians, and Elected Officials to Discuss Life-Changing Technologies

British Columbia, January 26, 2021

JDRF Canada is hosting a series of virtual community forums to address the need for access to affordable type 1 diabetes (T1D) technologies for the more than 300,000 Canadians living with the disease who are otherwise burdened with crushing out-of-pocket costs that can amount to up to $15,000 every year per person.

Part of JDRF’s #AccessforAll campaign, these ‘Community Consultations on Diabetes and Technology’ events provide an opportunity for residents to come together to discuss public coverage issues and to encourage public coverage of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and flash glucose monitoring (Flash GM) devices under BC Pharmacase.

Community Consultations on Diabetes and Technology: Access for All community forum

Fraser Valley: January 26th, 2021 at 7:00 PM PST. 

Speakers: Sarah Linklater (Clinician) & Sophia Orth (Advocate)

Register here.


Northern & Island: January 28th, 2021 at 7:00 PM PST.

Speakers: Beena Kashyap (Clinician) & Lisa Macdonell (Advocate)

Register here.


Interior: Febuary 2nd, 2021 at 7:00 PM PST.

Speakers: Katie Fletcher (Clinician) & Alyssa Florence (Advocate)

Register here.


Vancouver Coastal: February 4th, 2021 at 7:00 PM PST.

Speakers: Tom Elliot (Clinician) & Miguel Alvarez (Advocate)

Register here.


Find us online: jdrf.ca, jdrf.ca/accessforall, #AccessforAll, JDRF Canada Facebook, JDRF Canada Instagram

With an estimated 40,000 people living with type 1 diabetes in British Columbia, a large number of residents are battling the following realities associated with T1D:

  • Every year, about 1.4% of patients with type 1 diabetes are hospitalized due to hypoglycemia at a mean cost of C$3,775 per patient per year. Another 1.5% of T1D patients end up with extra clinical appointments because of hypoglycemia at a mean cost of $157 per patient per year.
  • Parents, children, and adults live with this everyday. Many parents and patients check blood glucose levels every 2 hours – even throughout the night – to prevent hospitalization.
  • Patients with type 1 diabetes from a very young age and their families must manage their disease with insulin either through a pump or through injection. Even with this attention, patients may experience metabolic disorders, loss of consciousness or coma in the short term.
  • Over the long term, people with type 1 diabetes can experience serious complications, including stroke, heart disease, nerve damange, and eye damage, leading to blindness, amputations and death. Each complication is a significant burden to patients, their families, and our health care system. New and innovative advanced glucose monitoring technologies, such as CGM and FGM are the standard of care in helping patients and families with type 1 diabetes to manage the disease, with great benefits to their quality of life. But with no public coverage for these devices, patients are left to cover the high costs out-of-pocket.
  • Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, the hormone tha enables people to get energy from food. This leads to higher levels of glucose in the blood and no amount of diet or exercise can prevent it.

For more information about the Community Consultations on Diabetes and Technology upcoming locations and dates, to learn more about this pressing Canadian health issue, or to arrange interviews and/or photo opportunities, please contact:

Vanessa Parent

Bilingual Marketing & Communications Specialist at JDRF Canada

C: (647) 459-7881

vparent@jdrf.ca


About JDRF Canada

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2.8 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, governments, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout Canada and six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.ca.

JDRF Canada Has a Plan of Attack to Defeat the Monster That Burdens 300,000 Canadians

 

TORONTO, January 25, 2021 — As 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin in Toronto, JDRF Canada, the largest charitable funder of type 1 diabetes (T1D) research in Canada, is launching their $100M Campaign to Accelerate to defeat the T1D monster and build upon a long legacy of outstanding Canadian diabetes research, accelerating towards cures and improving the lives of those living with T1D.

JDRF Canada’s $100M Campaign to Accelerate will renew hope that a cure is within reach for all Canadians living with T1D. It will achieve this through a multi-faceted plan of attack that drives multiple breakthrough research initiatives, such as those that accelerate development of stem-cell based therapies.

Recent research has demonstrated that stem cells can be used to create insulin-producing cells for transplantation into people with T1D to enable insulin independence. This type of research has put us on a path towards a cure, but it must be accelerated: more work is needed to learn how best to transplant these insulin producing cells into the body, to understand how to protect them from the immune system and to determine how to guarantee their long-term survival and function.

Another path towards a cure is that of prevention in those at risk. Clinical trials have revealed that the use of an immunotherapy drug called teplizumab can delay the onset of T1D for as long as three years in children and adults at high risk, providing the first concrete evidence that prevention of T1D may be possible. Multiple initiatives are underway around the world to determine how to roll-out universal screening programs to identify who is at risk. With continued investment, we can capitalize on recent progress and work towards completely preventing the disease.

“The launch of our $100M Campaign to Accelerate is monumental in the lives of Canadians living with type 1 diabetes,” says Dave Prowten, President and CEO of JDRF Canada. “While the discovery of insulin in Canada 100 years ago saved millions of lives, it is still not a cure. It is fitting that now is the time to map out the next era of discovery in type 1 diabetes research. Through our Campaign to Accelerate, we will transform our approach to research, redesigning it for speed to give Canadians hope for freedom from type 1 diabetes.”

The Campaign will rally volunteers from coast to coast to invest $100 million over the next five years to bring innovative and life-changing therapies to patients and families faster, and to ensure that Canadians living with T1D have greater access to lifesaving technology and mental health supports that help more people thrive despite their condition.

People and families living with T1D know all too well that this condition can feel like living with a monster on your back. “Lots of children are afraid of monsters, but only some have actually experienced one – like my son. He lives with type 1 diabetes, a relentless monster that is always there, ready to pounce – whether he is enjoying a snack or playing with friends. We must constantly be on high alert. The Campaign to Accelerate is putting a multi-faceted plan in place that can attack this monster from every angle, and we are inviting all Canadians to help us in accelerating the pace of type 1 diabetes research.” Ryan MacDonald, Campaign to Accelerate, Campaign Co-Chair

“As a parent of a 40-year-old daughter living with type 1 diabetes, there is nothing harder than watching your child struggle with this relentless monster that requires multiple, daily injections just to temporarily fend it off. One hundred years ago, we found a way to tame this monster with the discovery of insulin. Now it is time for us to defeat it for good and the Campaign to Accelerate, coupled with philanthropic support from Canadians, will get us there quicker.” Peter Oliver, Campaign to Accelerate, Campaign Co-Chair

The six key funding priorities of the $100M Campaign to Accelerate are to:

  • Accelerate the pace of breakthrough Canadian T1D research through the JDRF-CIHR Partnership to Defeat Diabetes
  • Collaborate with researchers across the globe on high-impact trials and projects
  • Launch the first JDRF Centre of Excellence in Canada, focused on cure research
  • Promote investment in commercial development of new T1D drugs and devices through venture philanthropy
  • Ensure Canadians living with T1D have greater access to affordable and lifesaving technology
  • Expand mental health supports for those living with T1D

T1D is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved.

There are no therapies available yet to prevent the disease, and currently, there is no cure. In Canada, the number of new cases of T1D is increasing annually by ~5 per cent versus a rate of ~3 per cent around the globe, and we do not know why.

To learn more about the $100M Campaign to Accelerate, visit jdrf.ca/accelerate

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About JDRF
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $3 billion CAD in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, governments, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout Canada and six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D.  For more information, please visit jdrf.ca.

Media Contact:
Vanessa Parent
National Bilingual Marketing and Communications Specialist
JDRF Canada
514-262-6346
vparent@jdrf.ca

 

 

 

Government of Canada and JDRF Canada announce new research funding to accelerate stem cell-based therapies for type 1 diabetes

November 28, 2020 — Ottawa, ON — Canadian Institutes of Health Research

There are more than 300,000 Canadians living with type 1 diabetes (T1D), an autoimmune disease with no known cause or cure, resulting in the dysfunction, damage or loss of pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin in our bodies. People with T1D must treat themselves with insulin several times per day to keep their blood glucose levels normal, and despite their best efforts, they often experience serious, and even life-threatening, complications.

To mark the end of Diabetes Awareness Month, Sonia Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Brampton South, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced an investment of $6 million through the CIHR-JDRF Partnership to Defeat Diabetes for two Canadian research teams to accelerate the development of stem cell-based therapies for the treatment of T1D.

Stem cells show great promise as a source of insulin-producing cells that could be transplanted to provide a new source of insulin, to replace dysfunctional, damaged or lost pancreatic beta cells.  Canada has a remarkable legacy in leading discoveries in this area. Stem cells were discovered in Toronto in 1961, and in 2000, a team in Edmonton were the first to pioneer transplantation of pancreatic islets (the part of the pancreas that contains insulin-producing cells). These achievements represent important steps toward a treatment that will allow people with T1D to live healthy lives without daily insulin injections.

The two teams will build on Canada’s demonstrated research excellence and leadership in clinical islet transplantation, stem cell biology, diabetes, immunology and genetic engineering to accelerate stem cell-based therapies for T1D. Teams will work in collaboration with other Canadian researchers to tackle some of the biggest scientific challenges that impede our progress in this area and move us closer to a future where people with T1D will no longer rely on insulin therapy.

This funding was provided by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes (CIHR-INMD), and JDRF Canada, through the CIHR-JDRF Partnership to Defeat Diabetes established in 2017. Each partner will invest $3 million over five years. This investment is part of a large research initiative, 100 Years of Insulin: Accelerating Canadian Discoveries to Defeat Diabetes, funded by CIHR and partners. This initiative commemorates the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin to be marked in 2021—a discovery that changed the lives of millions of Canadians and people around the world and won researchers Sir Frederick Banting and John Macleod the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

 

Quotes

“Diabetes Awareness Month is a time to commemorate the discoveries and advancements Canadian researchers have made towards a treatment, while also recognizing that more work needs to be done. The Government of Canada must continue to collaborate with partners like JDRF Canada to invest in health research that will improve the well-being of people who live with diabetes.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu

Minister of Health

 

“Diabetes continues to be a major health concern for many Canadians. We know that diabetes is a leading cause of stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and blindness; it places a huge burden on Canada’s health care system, and that is why we must continue to fund research and make strides towards overcoming this disease.”

Sonia Sidhu

Member of Parliament for Brampton South

 

“CIHR’s Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes is pleased to collaborate with national and international partners to fund research that will help develop new preventive and therapeutic solutions for people living with diabetes, and reduce the impact of diabetes on individuals, families and communities. New research on stem cell-based therapies offers hope that in the future, people with type 1 diabetes will no longer need to inject insulin on a daily basis to control their diabetes.”

Norman Rosenblum

Scientific Director, Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes

 

“Through the JDRF-CIHR Partnership to Defeat Diabetes, JDRF Canada is proud to support these two teams, who will carry out exciting and ambitious work at the cutting edge of cell replacement research. As we approach the insulin centenary, we remain committed to helping move into an era of research that will take us beyond insulin therapy, eventually providing people with type 1 diabetes with freedom from their disease. We are grateful to our community and our donors for enabling us to continue supporting crucial diabetes research during these challenging times.”

Dave Prowten

President and CEO, JDRF

 

Quick facts

  • Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body cannot sufficiently produce or properly use insulin to absorb sugar.
  • People with T1D produce no insulin and rely on insulin therapy to control their blood sugar, and to survive.
  • Over the past five years, CIHR has invested more than $230M in diabetes research
  • In addition to this, CIHR is investing more than $30M over the next 7 years (starting in 2020-2021) in new research as part of the 100 Years of Insulin: Accelerating Canadian Discoveries to Defeat Diabetes initiative.
  • JDRF is the largest charitable funder of T1D research having invested more than $2.8 billion since its inception in 1970
  • JDRF has been part of nearly every major scientific breakthrough in T1D research worldwide since 1970

 

Associated links

 

Contacts

David Coulombe
Media Relations

Canadian Institutes of Health Research
613-808-7526
david.coulombe@cihr-irsc.gc.ca  

 

Soledad Vega
National Marketing and Communications Manager
JDRF Canada
647-459-7881

svega@jdrf.ca  

 

Cole Davidson
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
613-957-0200

cole.davidson@canada.ca

 

 

JDRF Canada is marking National Diabetes Awareness Month by asking those impacted to write a letter to type 1 diabetes with the launch of their “Dear Type 1” Campaign

Toronto, ON — November 9, 2020 – JDRF Canada, the leading organization funding of type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, is marking National Diabetes Awareness Month (NDAM) by honouring the power and resilience of the T1D community with the “Dear Type 1” campaign.

During November, JDRF is raising awareness about type 1 diabetes through its #DearType1 campaign and is encouraging Canadians impacted to share their stories by writing a letter to the disease and posting it on social media using the hashtag #DearType1 or online at jdrf.ca/deartype1.

“As an organization, we want to celebrate the collective strength of the type 1 diabetes community and have people share their experiences with this often-misunderstood disease,” says Dave Prowten, President and CEO of JDRF Canada. “Dear type 1 is a powerful campaign that very personally and emotionally encourages people to share the dramatic impact this disease has on all of those affected and the continued need for research funding. As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot let research and support for those living with type 1 diabetes slow down.”

Throughout the country, blue-lit public monuments, such as Toronto’s CN tower, Calgary tower and British Columbia’s Anvil Centre will also help commemorate World Diabetes Day on November 14th as a gesture of solidarity for diabetes awareness.

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, which is celebrated across the world as a month to educate and raise awareness about the disease. On November 14, 2020, millions of people around the world will mark United Nations (UN) World Diabetes Day, honouring the birthday of Dr. Frederick G. Banting –the Canadian co-discoverer of insulin– as part of an international campaign to raise public awareness about this chronic disease.

“On the cusp of the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin in Canada, we need to unite and work towards creating a world without type 1 diabetes,” adds Prowten.

For more information about JDRF’s Dear Type 1 campaign, please visit jdrf.ca/deartype1. To find out more about World Diabetes Day visit worlddiabetesday.org.

 

About JDRF
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2.8 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, governments, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout Canada and six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D.  For more information, please visit jdrf.ca.
 

Media Contact:
Vanessa Parent
National Bilingual Marketing and Communications Specialist
JDRF Canada
514-262-6346
vparent@jdrf.ca

JDRF and Sun Life challenge corporate Canada to move work aside and move for a cure

The Sun Life Ride to Defeat Diabetes for JDRF invites people across Canada to join this high-energy virtual corporate fitness event and raise funds to support type 1 diabetes research

 

TORONTO, ON — October 22, 2020 – The Sun Life Ride to Defeat Diabetes for JDRF – a high-energy, corporate fitness event – happening on October 22, will bring together participants from across Canada into the same virtual space for some friendly competition and to raise $1.6 million to help create a world without type 1 diabetes.

Participants can choose to spin on a stationary bike, stretch with a yoga routine or break a sweat at a fitness class, in an hour-long virtual event where they will participate in fitness and fundraising challenges, celebrate top performers and recognize collective accomplishments – all while moving for a cure.

“This year we are bringing the excitement and energy of our Ride event to people’s homes and giving corporate Canada a unique way to come together for team building fun, to enjoy a healthy break during the busy work day, and most importantly, to turn type 1 diabetes into type none,” said Dave Prowten, President and CEO of JDRF Canada. “Research and support for those living with type 1 diabetes cannot stop and we are relying on the power of corporate Canada to help reach our $1.6 million goal to accelerate the pace of type 1 diabetes research.”

“There are over 300,000 Canadians living with type 1 diabetes. We know the impact it can have on people’s lives. That’s why we have donated $32 million globally to programs that support diabetes awareness, prevention, care and research since 2012,” said Robert Dumas, President and CEO, Sun Life Québec. “The Sun Life Ride to Defeat Diabetes is a great opportunity for people across Canada to connect and raise money for type 1 diabetes research and care initiatives. Sun Life is proud to sponsor the Ride and help Canadians live healthier lives.”

Join the Sun Life Ride to Defeat Diabetes for JDRF on October 22 at one of the following times: 12PM EDT, 4PM EDT and 7PM EDT at jdrfride.ca

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About JDRF Canada

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2.2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, governments, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout Canada and six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.ca.

 

Sun Life in the community

At Sun Life, we are committed to building sustainable, healthier communities for life. Community wellness is an important part of our sustainability commitment and we believe that by actively supporting the communities in which we live and work, we can help build a positive environment for our Clients, Employees, advisors and shareholders. Our philanthropic support focuses on two key areas: health, with an emphasis on diabetes awareness, prevention, and care initiatives through our Team Up Against DiabetesTM platform; and arts and culture, through our award-winning Making the Arts More AccessibleTM program.

We also partner with sports properties in key markets to further our commitment to healthy and active living. Our Employees and advisors take great pride in volunteering over 13,000 hours each year and contribute to making life brighter for individuals and families across Canada.

 

JDRF Media Relations Contact
Soledad Vega
National Marketing and Communications Manager, JDRF
647-459-7881
svega@jdrf.ca

Sun Life Media Relations Contact
Meredith Mundick
Manager, Corporate Communications, Sun Life
416-979-4048
meredith.mundick@sunlife.com

 

 

 

Your Dollars at Work: How your support is changing the landscape of T1D research

Below are significant results linked to the largest annual diabetes congress that just concluded which highlight exciting advances, many of which were enabled by the generous support of our donors. 

 

  • In Prevention: an updated analysis of a clinical trial showed that a drug called teplizumab can delay the onset of type 1 diabetes (T1D) by up to 3 years compared with placebo. What’s more, the drug actually improved beta cell function, suggesting a reversal of early disease processes. This drug will continue to be tested by Provention Bio, a company supported by the JDRF T1D Fund, and if successful could be the first immune therapy on the market for T1D. 

 

  • In Cure: two different clinical trials (Janssen’s T1GER trial and Novo Nordisk’s trial of liraglutide + anti-IL-21) reported efficacy of two new approaches to slow T1D progression or even induce remission in adults or children with recent onset T1D. These results indicate that we are moving quickly towards having multiple disease-modifying therapies available for T1D – a big increase from zero! In addition, several JDRF-funded investigators presented updates summarizing exciting forward momentum in the area of beta cell replacement.

 

  • In Devices: there has been a flurry of research results and new approvals announced in the past week. JDRF played a critical role in laying the groundwork for regulatory approval of diabetes devices and continues to partner with many device companies internationally. In research, impressive results were released on Medtronic’s MiniMed 780G advanced hybrid closed-loop system, which was also approved in Europe on June 11th. Research results were also announced on the Omnipod 5 and other closed-loop systems in development. Finally, Abbott’s Freestyle Libre device was approved by the US FDA on June 15th for adults and children 4 and up – overall, indicating a rapidly increasing number of options for easier, safer T1D management. We will keep you posted on new device approvals in Canada, which we anticipate will be plentiful in the coming years, and about our advocacy efforts to increase accessibility and affordability of devices, the main aim of our #AccessforAll campaign.

 

We are incredibly grateful to you, for your commitment and support as we work together to move type 1 diabetes research forward faster than ever. Accelerating the pace of research is critical and this could not happen without your support.