JDRF commits $5m to carry diabetes therapies through "valley of death"

16 October 2013

JDRF, the world's largest charity funding type 1 diabetes research, and technology development company PureTech, have launched T1D Innovations, an organisation focussed on accelerating the development of innovative diabetes therapies.

T1D Innovations will create and fund high-impact companies developing innovative type 1 diabetes-related therapies, enabling them to cross the well-known biomedical "valley of death" — the notorious gap in funding opportunities that often prevents promising biomedical discoveries from being translated into patient-saving products.

In addition to JDRF's leadership role in this initiative, Special Partners Joslin Diabetes Center and T1D Exchange will bring their valuable scientific, clinical, and patient engagement capabilities to the collaboration.

T1D Innovations was spawned from PureTech's broader "Valley of Life" initiative, which is designed to commercialize breakthroughs in areas of great unmet medical need by bringing together interested companies, disease foundations, and investors.

At a time when basic biomedical innovation is flourishing but translational funding is scarce, JDRF and PureTech believe collaborative translational and entrepreneurial efforts such as this will be critical to bolstering the type 1 diabetes product pipeline and accelerating the development of groundbreaking products.

PureTech will combine JDRF's investment with those from other leading not-for-profit, strategic, and financial investors to create a resource pool with the potential to have a meaningful impact on the T1D product pipeline. Additional investors will be required to achieve the objectives of this initiative and investors will also participate in any financial returns.

T1D Innovations will enable and accelerate the development and progress of opportunities aligned with JDRF's research priorities, placing an emphasis on therapies that help restore or maintain glycemic control or have the potential of restoring normal physiology for people living with or at risk for developing T1D. JDRF's funding of T1D Innovations represents a multi-year commitment to this effort.

JDRF President and CEO Jeffrey Brewer said, "T1D Innovations is a unique opportunity to fund entrepreneurial activity at the translational stage of the type 1 diabetes product pipeline, allowing us to drive the most commercially promising type 1 diabetes research projects into the clinic while leveraging the co-investment of other partners.

"This new initiative complements JDRF's current grant making and industry partnering activities, which are respectively focused on early stage exploratory research and later stage product development opportunities. Now, by supporting company formation around breakthrough type 1 diabetes research and working at each phase of the R&D pipeline, JDRF is better positioned to achieve our goal of delivering progressively advanced therapies to individuals living with or at risk of type 1 diabetes."


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