Helmsley Charitable Trust Announces $26 Million Grant to Jaeb Center for Health Research

Funds will be used to create a type 1 diabetes exchange

NEW YORK--()--The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, a leader in type 1 diabetes research funding, today announced that the Trust has awarded a three-year, $26 million grant to the Jaeb Center for Health Research. The grant is for the development of a type 1 diabetes exchange that includes a data repository, a biobank and an interactive website with mobile capability. The Exchange is designed to drive a better understanding of the disease, improve care and accelerate new therapies for type 1 diabetes through the promotion of collaborative research and data sharing.

“We spent more than a year surveying the type 1 community to identify challenges and unmet needs. The idea to start a large-scale exchange came out of that learning experience,” said Dana Ball, Program Director of the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Type 1 Diabetes Program (Helmsley T1D Program). “This will be a cornerstone project for the Trust and for the entire type 1 diabetes community.”

Launched in 2009, the Helmsley T1D Program aims to advance the understanding of type 1 diabetes and to identify promising new treatments and technologies. Since its creation, the Trust has committed a total of $85 million to type 1 diabetes research and programs. The grant for the Exchange was made to the Jaeb Center as part of the Helmsley T1D Program.

“This exchange is ambitious in both its design and scale,” said Roy W. Beck, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Director of the Jaeb Center. “We are excited to be part of this effort and for the potential value this exchange will have for people living with type 1 diabetes.”

The central goal of the Exchange is to create a new model that combines the best aspects of traditional clinical research with the expanding fields of health information and social networking. The three primary components of the Exchange are:

  1. A data repository with longitudinal patient data collected from clinical centers accessed by an interactive website with mobile capability.
2. A biobank with well-characterized patient samples.
3. Interactive online communities of researchers, clinicians and patients to capture, share and evaluate data and learn from the collaborative community.

The first stage of building the Exchange has involved assembling a network of clinical centers caring for people with type 1 diabetes. The 50+ centers are found throughout the U.S., encompassing both university-based and community-based sites, urban and rural areas and a diverse range of racial and ethnic groups. The existence of the clinical network will foster the rapid development and dissemination of studies designed to improve the care and lives of people with type 1 diabetes. The patient population and datasets will be expanded through the web and mobile platforms.

“We have very little data on a large scale that tells us how people with diabetes are living with their disease. This new exchange will certainly accelerate the search for new therapies, but it will also help us understand how people are responding to the treatments and other interventions we have now.” said Dr. George Eisenbarth, Executive Director of the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes and Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine and Immunology at the University of Colorado Denver.

Type 1 diabetes develops when the body’s immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. This condition currently affects an estimated one to three million Americans. Most cases develop in children. In the past, type 1 diabetes was referred to as juvenile diabetes. According to a 2010 study by Erasmus University, type 1 diabetes costs the United States over $14 billion per year in medical expenses and lost income.

The Jaeb Center has retained Health Advances, LLC, based in Waltham, Mass., Springboard, Inc., based in Cambridge, Mass., and Asynchrony Solutions, Inc., based in St. Louis, Mo., to support the development of the Exchange.

About The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, established in 1999, is administered by five trustees selected by Leona Helmsley as a continuation of Mr. and Mrs. Helmsley’s generous giving through their lifetimes. The Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting effective nonprofits. The Trust supports a diverse range of organizations with a major focus on health and medical research, in addition to programs in human services, education and conservation. For more information, please visit: www.helmsleytrust.org.

About the Jaeb Center for Health Research

The Jaeb Center for Health Research in Tampa, Florida was established in 1993 as a freestanding, nonprofit coordinating center for multi-center clinical trials and epidemiologic research. The Center's focus is on projects involving eye disorders or type 1 diabetes. For more information, please visit: www.jaeb.org.

Contacts

For The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
Russell LaMontagne, 917-744-7957
Russell@corinthgroup.com

Contacts

For The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
Russell LaMontagne, 917-744-7957
Russell@corinthgroup.com