Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Without insulin, the body cannot control its blood glucose levels and relies on regular (24/7) blood glucose testing and insulin just to stay alive.

400,000 people live with type 1 diabetes in the UK - one of the highest rates in the world.

Up to 20,000 people in the UK are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes each year and half of them are adults 85% of people diagnosed have no family history of the condition.

JDRF’s mission is to:

  • Drive UK research to develop cures and improve lives for people with type 1 diabetes
  • Accelerate access to type 1 technologies and medicines
  • Support people living with type 1

Syncona helps us achieve our vision

  • Syncona has been JDRF’s single largest unrestricted supporter since 2013
  • Multi-year support enables us to commit to long term research projects and ensure that the output of our research brings positive benefits for the type 1 community in the shortest possible time

Impact of Syncona’s Support

  • Helped to launch the world’s first artificial pancreas app – a breakthrough that will transform life for many people with type 1.
  • The Right Hon Theresa May MP, became a JDRF ambassador to champion our Connect Immune Research Initiative. By funding research to look at the common mechanisms of autoimmunity and immune mediated inflammation, we have the potential to transform the lives of the 4 million people in the UK living with an autoimmune condition.
  • Parliament welcomed our Pathway to Choice Initiative, paving the way for more people being able to choose and access life-changing type 1 medical devices.
  • Our research persuaded the NHS to provide continuous glucose monitors for all pregnant women with type 1, improving outcomes for thousands of mothers and babies.
  • New medical research which has driven scientific leaps towards better, safer, accessible treatments including the Immunotherapy Teplizumab which can delay type 1 by three years, and replaying insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas protecting them from the immune attack that causes type 1.


How our game-changing app transformed one young boy’s life

“When I first heard about the artificial pancreas trial, I was very excited to be taking part in research that would change history. With my type 1 diabetes, if my blood sugar is low, I need to have sugar to bring it back to a safe level. If my blood goes high, I need insulin. This isn’t nice when you’re asleep. Sometimes, my mum has to wake me up lots of times in the night and I’m very tired at school. For the trial, I had a new artificial pancreas app to sort out how much insulin I was given automatically while I slept. Mum was really worried about relying on it at first, but it worked brilliantly. The trial really helped me at school because it meant I was less tired and could concentrate on my studies. I hope I can have an artificial pancreas of my own one day, that would be amazing!”

“The trial really helped me at school because it meant I was less tired and could concentrate on my studies.”


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