Artificial Pancreas Project
The long-term grant follows a prior grant of $2 million awarded last year. The current funding was received from the American National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), which is part of the American National Institute of Health.
This is one of 4 different projects which are funded by the NIDDK and are aimed to lead the artificial pancreas system through the process of licensing and commercial use. A fully automated and successful system of this kind will represent an improved quality of life for many Type I diabetics. The system comprises a sensor and insulin pump which continuously monitors the level of blood glucose and stipulates the precise amount of insulin required by the body to maintain a safe balance of blood sugar levels.
Prof. Moshe Phillip, Director of the Endocrinology and Diabetes Institute at Schneider Children’s, together with Prof. Richard Bergenstal, Director of the International Diabetes Center, will compare the artificial pancreas system made by Medtronic from their series MiniMed 670D Systems that has already received FDA approval, with the more advanced system that combines the GlucoSitter ™ - a sophisticated algorithm developed by a team in the Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes at Schneider and the Israeli company, Dreamed Diabetes Ltd. This algorithm, that includes four-phase logic technology, aims to improve glucose balance particularly around mealtimes.
100 youngsters aged 14-30 will test each of the two systems over a period of 3 months. The research partners, Prof. Phillip and Prof. Bergenstal, are enthusiastic about the trial which will take place in 7 clinics around the US and other parts of the world such as the Minneapolis clinic, New Haven, Boston, Gainesville, Germany, Slovenia and Israel. Dr. Hood from Stanford will conduct an evaluation of the quality of life and patients’ comfort with the new technology, Dr. Beck together with Dr. Judy Sibayan, from the Jaeb Center of Research in Tampa will oversee coordination of the trial.
“Everyone is hopeful that the advanced artificial pancreas system, in addition to improved safety of blood glucose levels, will truly lead to an improved quality of life for youngsters and adults, so that they can focus on their lives and less on their disease, and discover all that life has to offer,” said Prof. Phillip.
Dr. Revital Nimri, a senior physician in the Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes, and a member of the team that developed the algorithm for the GlucoSitter, noted that “after a decade of working on the algorithm and successful clinical trials, we are excited about the next opportunity to test our unique MDLogic technology alongside Medtronic’s PID algorithm, as part of this international clinical study.”
“The objective of the researchers is to obtain needed information to bring the artificial pancreas to those who need it,” said Dr. Guillermo A. Arreaza-Rubín, Director of the Diabetes Technology Programs at NIDDK, and added that “the results of these studies will change and save lives.”
The clinical trial will commence in 2017.