The Path to a Cure for Type 1 Diabetes
Since its founding in 2015, Beyond Type 1 has been focused on filling gaps—whether in resources for living well today, access to life-saving medication and technologies or in education and awareness. When we look at the cure space, we have identified a gap in early, innovative cure research and a lack of enrollment in clinical trials. These problems are stalling research and the path to a cure.
English mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead said, “Ideas won’t keep. Something must be done about them.” In regards to type 1 diabetes, not only must something be done with ideas about how to eradicate the disease or how to make life better for those living with it, but there is no time to waste.
Testing ideas with evidence is at the heart of the process of science and yet there are countless ideas locked in the minds of researchers, scholars and inventors, but mainstream funding and clinical trial participation rarely supports them.
97 percent of funding that is currently available for diabetes goes to established scientists, while scientific breakthroughs often emerge due to the inventiveness of early-career scientists. We can change this by funding early stages of cure research projects.
80-85 percent of clinical trials in the US and Canada are delayed because of lack of participation. We can do better than that. Theories need testing, and we can be a part of the solution, a part of the cure. There are a wide variety of clinical trials that get us closer to just that.
Albert Einstein revealed his theory of general relativity at 26. Banting and Best discovered insulin before they turned 33. Imagine our world today if these scientists had not received funding or clinical trial participants to test their ideas. Without a reliable and consistent source of funding, the number of researchers in diabetes is going to continue declining and without participation in our clinical trials, a cure will be that more elusive.
Many clinical trials never get off the ground because of low participation. You can think of it as a social responsibility to participate, but there are additional perks to being an active part of research such as getting expert attention on your diabetes management, receiving free goods, making a little money on the side for doing what you already do—manage your type 1 diabetes. Oh and also—helping us cure it.