JDRF, the type 1 diabetes charityResearch ProjectsBigger, smarter, faster research into immunotherapy for type 1 diabetes

Bigger, smarter, faster research into immunotherapy for type 1 diabetes

Professor Colin Dayan is developing better immunotherapy clinical trials for type 1 diabetes

Scientific title: Clinical Trials in the Type 1 Diabetes UK Immunotherapy Consortium: Bigger, Smarter, Faster
Principal investigator: Professor Colin Dayan
Institution: Cardiff University
Duration of award: 01 May 2019 – 30 April 2022

This project is co-funded with Diabetes UK


Immunotherapy is one of the most promising areas in type 1 diabetes research today, with the potential to help cure and prevent the condition.

But before any immunotherapy treatment can reach the people who need it, it must be thoroughly tested in clinical trials.

This award will help to fund the next generation of immunotherapy research, enabling more efficient clinical trials, in more locations, so that promising treatments can reach people sooner.

What will Professor Dayan do?

Professor Colin Dayan leads the Type 1 Diabetes UK Immunotherapy Consortium network of research centres.

Since the consortium was set up in 2015 with funding from JDRF and Diabetes UK, the consortium has increased the number of people with type 1 taking part in vital research five-fold, completed three ground-breaking clinical trials, and is currently running nine more.

With this grant, Professor Dayan plans to increase the number of clinical trials being run in the UK even further, and to make each trial more efficient, so they can be conducted in half the time and with half the number of volunteers.

At the same time, he aims to have a clinical trial centre within 50 miles of 50% of the UK population so that more children and adults can take part in vital research.

Together, these advances will speed up the development of new immunotherapy treatments for type 1 diabetes.

How will this research help people with type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 happens when the immune system mistakenly destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

An immunotherapy for type 1 would manipulate the immune system, effectively re-training it to avoid attacking healthy cells. Scientists believe these treatments could result in an effective way to slow or prevent type 1 in the future, paving the way towards curing the condition.

With this grant, Professor Dayan will be able to run bigger, smarter and faster immunotherapy clinical trials in type 1 diabetes – enabling researchers to collect the evidence required to get a drug licensed, and made available to people with type 1, sooner than is currently possible.

Can I take part in this research?

The Type 1 Diabetes UK Immunotherapy Consortium is currently looking for volunteers for some of its clinical trials. Each of these trials will have different criteria for who can and cannot take part.

If you would like to find out more about these trials, including who can get involved, visit the Type 1 Diabetes UK Immunotherapy Consortium website.

Is JDRF funding any other research like this?

JDRF is also funding Professor Dayan for another project that aims to speed up the development and licensing of immunotherapies. The project will use mathematical modelling to improve the way clinical trials are analysed for success.