SAN DIEGO, Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Tandem Diabetes Care, Inc. ("Tandem") announced today a partnership with JDRF, the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, to develop a first-of-its-kind, dual-chamber infusion pump for the management of diabetes. The partnership agreement is designed to accelerate the development of a next-generation, fully automated artificial pancreas system using therapies in conjunction with insulin.
"An ambulatory device that can simultaneously deliver insulin along with other drug therapies that are used for optimal diabetes management is not currently commercially available," said Kim D. Blickenstaff, president and CEO of Tandem. "The combination of JDRF's expertise and advocacy along with Tandem's unique technology and passion for meeting unmet needs in the diabetes community offers the opportunity for an exciting step toward the ultimate artificial pancreas solution."
JDRF will support Tandem in performance-based milestone funding over the next two years to complete the development, testing, and manufacturing of a novel infusion pump that can simultaneously deliver two injectable hormonal drug therapies.
"Current infusion pumps offer only one hormone," said Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D., JDRF's assistant vice president of treatment therapies. "However, a human pancreas produces several hormones, in addition to insulin, that aid metabolism, digestion, and, of course, blood sugar control. Tandem's research into infusion pumps that could simultaneously deliver multiple hormones is thereby an important step forward in the development of a more effective artificial pancreas system—a device that could improve the health and quality of life of people with diabetes."
People with T1D are burdened with constantly having to determine the right amount of insulin to dose at the right time. Yet even with diligent monitoring, people with T1D spend a significant portion of the day with either high or low blood sugar, placing them at risk for devastating long-term complications from hyperglycemia or traumas from hypoglycemia. Artificial pancreas systems will be external devices that help people with T1D do what their bodies cannot—automatically control their blood sugar around the clock. They will work by combining an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) that provides glucose readings every 1-5 minutes, with sophisticated computer software that allows the two devices to automatically communicate to determine and provide the right amount of insulin at the right time.
Today, artificial pancreas systems are being tested that automate some insulin delivery. In the future, the goal is to restore the balance of other hormones, in addition to insulin, that are missing or out of balance in people with T1D. The dual-chamber infusion pump being developed by Tandem may help restore the missing hormonal balance in T1D, and will help evolve the artificial pancreas to the next generation of devices that will more closely mimic the function of a healthy human pancreas.
Tandem's innovative infusion pump technology—also found in the FDA-cleared t:slim® Insulin Pump—is particularly well suited for providing multi-hormone therapy in a compact and sleek design. Administering insulin is a daily requirement for millions of people with diabetes, and millions more manage their diabetes using several hormones or drug treatments. The t:slim Pump's user-friendly, programmable touch-screen is easy to use and customizable for the needs of dual-therapy regimens.
JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents, and adults with this disease, JDRF is now the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. The goal of JDRF research is to improve the lives of all people affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners who share this goal.
Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.7 billion to diabetes research. Past JDRF efforts have helped to significantly advance the care of people with this disease, and have expanded the critical scientific understanding of T1D. JDRF will not rest until T1D is fully conquered. More than 80 percent of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and research-related education. (www.jdrf.org)
About Tandem Diabetes Care, Inc.
Tandem Diabetes Care, Inc. (www.tandemdiabetes.com) is a privately held company dedicated to advancing the management of diabetes through novel technologies. The Company offers a comprehensive, user-centric and integrated approach to product design, development, and customer care. Tandem Diabetes Care is based in San Diego, Calif.
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SOURCE Tandem Diabetes Care