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JDRF, Animas & Dexcom Artificial Pancreas development Pact

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by badshoe, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

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    Thank you for your post and I hope we can continue this discussion.

    Link to source for Lewis quote
    http://www.curetype1.org/documents/interviewAlanLewis_DiabetesCloseUp_Dec2009 -.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  2. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

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    Dr. Kowalski, why specifically did JDRF choose to partner with Animas/Dexcom on this project? (Why not Omnipod/Dexcom, Omnipod/Navigator or Medtronic?)
     
  3. Flutterby

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    I am very curious in these answers too.
     
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    Hi Dr Kowalski,

    Thank you for your willingness to address questions on this forum. Your time is sincerely appreciated.

    How much is JDRF investing in biohybrid/bioartificial pancreas device research that encapsulate glucose responsive (i.e. SPF porcine) islet cells that are available today in order to restore true euglycemia sans algorithms, infusion sets, exogenous insulin etc. such that Tejal Desai , Cherie Stabler, LCT and other researchers are working on for our loved ones?

    Can you share how you view normoglycemia being achieved with the JDRF/Animas/Dexcom AP vs. a bioartificial pancreas as mentioned above?

    Thank you again,
    Ellen
     
  5. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    I'd like to suggest that if a spokesperson for JDRF were to come to the forum and engage the parents who have concerns and questions about the JDRF/J&J partnership and the "AP" project, it would go a long way toward advancing our understanding and how we share and discuss this news with the friends and family members to whom we turn when organizing our JDRF donation drives.
     
  6. buggle

    buggle Approved members

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    I got that wrong. Novocell is a stem cell company.
     
  7. Aaron Kowalski

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm sorry that I'm a bit slow responding to some of these questions.

    If folks have questions I'm certainly happy to answer them as best as I can. You can always email me directly at akowalski@jdrf.org. It seems that many people are wondering why JDRF chose to partner with Animas/DexCom and not some of the other companies out there and given the relationship with Robert Wood Johnson and Leo Mullin to J&J is there a conflict.

    JDRF is working with all device companies that develop pump and glucose sensor technology. This partnership with Animas is not the culmination of JDRF?s Artificial Pancreas project and efforts. It is rather a great development in what we envision as a stream of research, products, and technologies that will be announced over a period of time. Other companies have looked at similar projects and products, and we anticipate that they will continue to do so. We are and will be collaborating with as many of these companies as possible to realize the vision of fully automated artificial pancreas systems. In fact, we hope that this partnership with Animas will spur other companies to take action and devote additional resources to the development of artificial pancreas technology. JDRF looks forward to working with them to achieve this goal. Infact, you may have seen that we announced another Artificial Pancreas Project related partnership with BD yesterday (http://www.artificialpancreasproject.com)! Happy to answer questions about this as well!

    There are no conflicts in this partnership, and JDRF is transparent regarding the relationships of its volunteer leadership to Johnson & Johnson. The volunteer chairman of JDRF, Robert Wood Johnson IV, is on the board of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, not Johnson & Johnson. As volunteer chair of JDRF, he is not a board member and not involved in the day to day research activities of the organization; this project did not begin with him. He had no involvement in the decision making process around the partnership from either the Animas or Johnson & Johnson standpoint. The volunteer chairman of the Board of Directors of JDRF, Leo Mullin, is in fact on the board of Johnson & Johnson. Like Robert Wood Johnson, in his role as a volunteer, he is not involved in the day to day research activities of the organization, and this project did not begin with him. He recused himself from all discussions and decision-making meetings regarding this partnership between JDRF and Johnson & Johnson.

    The bottom line is that we want multiple companies to be successful here so that people with diabetes have multiple outstanding options that help them do better with their diabetes.

    Again, I'm sorry for the slow reply and will go through other common questions that people have to make sure that I can add as much clarity as possible. Thanks - Aaron
     
  8. carbz

    carbz Banned

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    As far as I am concerned the JDRF should dump every cent they have into Smart Insulin and get it fast tracked to human trials as quickly as possible. Enough horsing around a get this therapy to the patients already! I have faith in Dr Zion and his team and IMO no other therapy outside of a real cure could match what Smart Insulin hopefully should accomplish. I can't imagine anyone with any intelligence that would be content being tied up to a costly mechanical device still using conventional Insulin. After 35 years of hell I am starting to feel like I am running out of time. Not knocking the JDRF but for christ sakes and I think most would agree with me by saying that Smart Insulin should but a far greater priority then a costly mechanical AP that I'd never be able to afford anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2010
  9. WOD

    WOD New Member

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    I do agree with carbz and would like to expand upon carbz?s suggestion:

    The artificial pancreas is a large, complicated, expensive, technically difficult project. FDA approval is expected to require extensive work and be time- consuming and costly. The AP will also, at least in the early days, require the user to purchase consumables and wear boxes on their bodies.

    In contrast, the solutions being pursued by LCT, Smart Inslulin, Desai, and others are elegant in their simplicity. Faustman?s home-built, one-of-a-kind machine that is the size of a refrigerator and breaks when it?s moved across the room concerns me; but I think it?s only needed in the research phase. Her approach to a cure, in my opinion, is also simple and elegant and, in fact, would be a true, complete cure if it works. (I did not intentionally leave out any projects here; rather I just listed some examples that I could think of quickly.)

    I don?t completely understand the need for the bridge that JDRF talks about. I kind of get the impression that it provides justification to work on the AP. LCT, Smart Insulin, Faustman, Desai, et al, as I understand them, don?t need a bridge. If the cure that JDRF is working towards requires a bridge , then both the bridge and the cure have to be developed, making that path very long and costly indeed.

    I don?t have the numbers, but my impression is that the AP will (or has) cost more than several of the other simpler projects combined. If the goal actually is to find a cure (and we may only need one), as soon as possible, is it better to bet a pot of money on one long, complicated, expensive project, or to use that money to support several simpler, less expensive projects simultaneously?

    Furthermore, the solutions provided by the simpler projects I listed above don?t involve electricity, circuit boards, LCD screens, artificial sensors, pumps, radio transmitters and receivers, calibration, and complicated algorithms. (What better sensor is there than the one that has developed over eons of evolution for this specific task and comes built into every islet cell?)

    I wish that JDRF would explain the rational for being so intently focused on the most complicated solution while, in appearance anyway, not paying much attention to other less costly solutions that hold out the possibility of being cheaper, less complicated to use, and come much closer to providing a true cure.

    After our son was diagnosed, we started making regular contributions to JDRF. We stopped, however, when the controversy over support by JDRF for Dr Faustman?s work arose. Since then, we have only become more concerned about whether any contributions we make would be used in the most cost-effective way in the quick pursuit of a cure.
     
  10. joshualevy

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    SmartInsulin has not yet done any clinical trials (so not even phase-I, as yet). The "phase-II" in their press releases refers to a phase of small business development grant, not a phase of clinical trials.

    They are doing pre-clinical studies into toxicology/pharamacology, etc. So more than 10 years from general availability.


    Joshua Levy
     
  11. joshualevy

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    JDRF is already working with Medtronic on AP research. Here is the study currently underway:
    http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00831389

    Joshua Levy
     
  12. hawkeyegirl

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  13. joshualevy

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    Why do you think JDRF is only working with J&J/Animas? That is not true. Quite the opposite: JDRF was working with Minimed before they started working with J&J/Animas. For example, this study: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00831389, which has been going on for a year.

    Joshua Levy
     
  14. joshualevy

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    Obviously, I'm not Dr. Kowalski, but I can answer parts of those questions:
    • LCT (at least last I heard) had never asked JDRF for funding. So JDRF would never have had an opportunity to fund them.
    • I don't think Desai has been doing diabetes related research for years. Most of her work was 1998 to 2001, and the last paper I can find from her on type-1 diabetes was 2005. I don't know how to dig up records that old.
    • Cherie Stabler (as co-investigator) got a 3.3 million dollar grant (that's over three years) from JDRF in 2009. She had gotten other grants from them in the past.

    Joshua Levy
     

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