Finalists Announced for 2018 Diabetes Innovation Challenge

Winners of $250,000 in Cash and In-Kind Prizes to be Announced at Live Event in Boston May 21

BOSTON, April 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- T1D Exchange, a nonprofit patient-centered research organization dedicated to accelerating novel treatments to improve the lives of people with type 1 diabetes (T1D), today announced that 10 academic research teams and early stage companies have been named as finalists in the 2018 Diabetes Innovation Challenge, a world-wide competition to identify, nurture and advance innovative scientific and clinical solutions for diabetes.

The announcement comes after proposals from 30 semi-finalists were reviewed by a panel of experts. Additionally, nearly 500 votes have been cast to date for a separate People’s Choice Award. In all, 60 proposals were received from 17 countries.

The opportunity for the community to review and vote for the People’s Choice Award recipient is unique to the Diabetes Innovation Challenge, and a centerpiece of the T1D Exchange mission to connect patients to researchers and innovators. Those who wish to review descriptions of the entries and cast their vote for their favorite proposal are encouraged to go to the Vote Now link. Voting ends May 19, 2018.

The 2018 Diabetes Innovation Challenge is presented by T1D Exchange with the generous support of lead sponsors, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and JDRF. Major sponsors include the American Diabetes Association, Eli Lilly and Company and Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

“The quality of this year’s entries, and especially the finalists, is truly remarkable,” said Jay Mohr, President and CEO of Dirigo Therapeutics and a member of the Board of T1D Exchange. “We are excited to provide these innovators with the opportunity to advance their ideas and showcase their efforts to address the needs of those living with diabetes.”

Studies show that at least 1.25 million Americans are living with type 1 diabetes, including more than 200,000 young people under the age of 20. Alarmingly, there was a 21 percent increase in the prevalence of type one diabetes among young people from 2001-2009, with 40,000 new cases diagnosed each year. At the current rate, the number of people with type one diabetes is expected to grow to more than 5 million people in the U.S. by 2050.

“These findings underscore the need for innovative solutions to improve the health and quality of life of the growing number of people living with diabetes,” added Mohr.

Each finalist will make a formal, in-person presentation of their proposal to a select panel of judges at a public event on May 21, 2018, at the Royal Sonesta Boston in Cambridge, MA. Winners will be announced immediately following the presentations.

A total of $250,000 in cash and additional in-kind support for concept/product development will be awarded among the first, second, and third prize winners.

The finalists include proposals in four categories that are critical to advancing the care of people with diabetes including:

Automated Insulin Devices (Artificial Pancreas) and related components such as novel glucose sensing, insulin delivery systems, and cellular therapy delivery technologies

  • AP Advance: An autonomous and discreet diabetes management system mimicking a healthy pancreas
  • CAM MED LLC: An ultra-thin, flexible, bandage-like patch pump that delivers multiple drugs at minimal cost
  • Micromedics, Inc.: A portable bio-artificial pancreas using microfabrication technology to mimic the pancreas

Diagnostics such as novel low-cost tests for research and screening; early diagnosis and prevention; autoantibodies, C- peptide, or other markers such as beta cell death and risk of diabetic complications

  • Bonbouton: Early detection of signals that can lead to foot ulcers and amputations in diabetic patients
  • VOTIS Subdermal Imaging Technologies, Ltd.:  Pathology of the diabetic foot

Therapeutics including smart insulins, glucagons, immune-modulating therapies, beta cell regeneration and treatments for diabetic complications

  • Protomer Technologies Inc.: Weekly injectable glucagon that senses low blood sugar and automatically activates in the body
  • Ridgeline Therapeutics: Oral medication to treat Type 2 diabetes by selectively shrinking fat deposits
  • University of Southern California: Device to maintain oxygen levels in the eye and prevent blindness

Technology Design/Disease Management solutions for new and disruptive approaches to the use of information and communication technologies to support diabetes management

  • Capillary Biomedical, Inc.: A soft, multi-port, kink-proof cannula and comfortable, reliable infusion
  • Integrated Medical Sensors: The world's smallest wireless user-insertable 30-day glucose sensor

Members of the general public can register for the event here.

About T1D Exchange
T1D Exchange is an innovative nonprofit research organization founded on the belief that people affected by type 1 diabetes need better treatments and better care faster. T1D Exchange puts the community of people living with type 1 diabetes at the center of research that will meaningfully impact their lives. The T1D Exchange model offers researchers access to a large patient community, aggregated clinical, biological, and patient-reported data, and a rich collection of biological samples. The goal is to leverage T1D Exchange’s expertise and resources, connect key stakeholders, and link patient insight to all stages of research and development aimed at improving care and quality of life for everyone affected by type 1 diabetes.

T1D Exchange fosters collaboration and offers a wide-array of resources to the type 1 diabetes community including a Clinic Network, a Clinic Registry, a robust Biobank, and the GLU patient community with more than 21,000 members.

For more information about the 2018 Diabetes Innovation Challenge or T1D Exchange, please contact John Gillespie at (314) 708-9090 or Rebecca Parkes, Chief Advancement Officer at (617) 892-6100