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JDRF award £1.5 million grant to University of Dundee for type 1 diabetes clinical trial

The new JDRF-funded clinical trial called SOPHIST will test a drug to help people with type 1 diabetes and heart failure.
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Kate Lawton 25 October 2023
Dr Ify Mordi, lead type 1 diabetes researcher

Dr Ify Mordi, lead researcher of this JDRF-funded clinical trial.

Researchers at the University of Dundee have received a grant from JDRF to support a UK-wide clinical trial that could potentially advance a new life-saving treatment for people with type 1 and heart failure.

The SOPHIST clinical trial

The £1.5 million SOPHIST trial will be led by the University’s Dr Ify Mordi , a Senior Lecturer in Cardiology. Dr Mordi and his colleagues from Dundee’s School of Medicine will study the effect of a drug called sotagliflozin on quality of life in approximately 300 people across the UK. The trial is being supported by the Tayside Clinical Trials Unit and includes cardiologists and diabetes specialists from across the UK.

Find out more about Dr Ify Mordi’s JDRF-funded clinical trial.

Type 1 diabetes and heart disease

More than 400,000 people in the UK live with type 1 diabetes, while almost one million people have a diagnosis of heart failure. The two conditions are closely linked, and recent research shows that people with type 1 who develop heart failure are more likely to be admitted to hospital or die at an earlier age than patients with type 2 diabetes or those without diabetes who develop heart failure.

Find out more about heart disease as a complication of type 1 diabetes.

What is sotagliflozin?

Sotagliflozin belongs to a class of prescription medicines called SGLT inhibitors, which are used with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar and improve heart and kidney health in adults with type 2 diabetes. SGLT inhibitors have been tested for glucose control in people with type 1, but not for heart and kidney health. As the first large trial anywhere in the world studying SGLT inhibitors in people with type 1 diabetes and heart failure, SOPHIST will seek to address this knowledge gap.

Lead researcher, Dr Ify Mordi

Dr Mordi said: “SGLT inhibitors have been adopted as a key life-saving treatment in heart failure patients with type 2 diabetes or without diabetes over the past five years, improving patients’ quality of life and preventing hospital admissions.

“Unfortunately, because of initial concerns about diabet ic ketoacidosis , patients with type 1 diabetes and heart failure were not included in the trials that confirmed the benefits of SGLT inhibitors in heart failure.

“Recent studies have shown that with appropriate strategies and education, SGLT inhibitors can be used safely in people with type 1 diabetes. Heart failure in people with type 1 diabetes is similar to heart failure in other patient groups, so we would hope that SGLT inhibitors would have similar benefits, but we need evidence to confirm our hypothesis.

“This trial is much needed, and if we do find that SGLT inhibitors improve quality of life compared to placebo in people with type 1 diabetes and heart failure, then this could have a significant impact on clinical practice worldwide, potentially changing treatment guidelines. We are extremely grateful to JDRF and Lexicon for supporting this vital study that could improve the lives of thousands of patients.

JDRF’s International Director of Research

“Heart failure is a devastating complication of type 1 diabetes that has not been adequately studied or addressed. Sotagliflozin was recently approved by the FDA for heart failure, and this trial will evaluate its efficacy and safety specifically in people with heart failure who have type 1 diabetes,” said Dr Jonathan Rosen, JDRF Director of Research. “JDRF is committed to developing life-changing therapies for people with type 1 who have not been able to benefit from recent therapeutic advances in heart and kidney disease.”

Take part in the clinical trial

Researchers will begin recruitment in early 2024. Anyone who would like to take part in SOPHIST or to find out more about it, email Dr Ify Mordi at i.mordi@dundee.ac.uk.

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