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Australian-first map of type 1 diabetes landscape revealed

25 May, 2015

The Australian-first Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Resource Map (the Resource Map), published by JDRF Australia, is a first ever snapshot analysis of the type 1 diabetes clinical research landscape in Australia.

The Resource Map has revealed that a range of sophisticated clinical research tools and valuable research resources already exist in Australia, but that they are fragmented across research institutions.

There is a key opportunity for increasing researcher access through investment into infrastructure that will enable resources to be connected and shared. Enhancing researcher access to these vital tools and resources will pave the way for accelerated research progress and faster outcomes for people living with type 1 diabetes.

It also recommends Australia fund targeted grants for transformative projects that have the potential for high benefit and invest in career-support for emerging clinician researchers.

Welcoming the Resource Map, The Minister for Health Sussan Ley said: "The Abbott government is committed to finding the best way to prevent, treat and cure the growing national problem of diabetes. That's why we're committed to a National Diabetes Strategy, and it's why we've committed $35m over 5 years for type 1 diabetes clinical research.

"The Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Resource Map, a collaboration between the Macquarie Group Foundation and JDRF Australia, is a ground-breaking resource that will enhance access to available resources by increasing their visibility, and support a national effort to enable Australian researchers to share and access the resources that are available in Australia, including databases, biobanks, and patient pools," she continued.

"The Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Resource Map showcases the great strengths Australia has in type 1 diabetes clinical research," said Mike Wilson, CEO of JDRF Australia. "More importantly, it pinpoints opportunities to deliver greater patient benefit to more than 120,000 Australians living with type 1 diabetes. It tells us that we need to accelerate research translation, establish targeted clinical research funding schemes, connect Australian clinical research resources and infrastructure and build targeted partnerships and collaborations in order to accelerate Australian ideas and put our researchers on a global stage," he continued.

"We're very pleased we've been able to support the publication of the Resource Map following our strategic grant to JDRF in 2013," said Lisa George, Macquarie Group Foundation Head. "It's an important project and characterised by many of the things we look for in a successful partnership – innovation, capacity building and collaboration. It's yet another example of how the Macquarie Group Foundation's connection to JDRF, which stretches back more than a decade, is reaping so many benefits for medical research in this country and beyond."

Incorporating data collected in interviews with leading Australian clinical researchers, the Resource Map has identified five key areas in the research development pipeline that could accelerate, expand, and increase the impact of Australian type 1 diabetes clinical research. This would further increase its global impact and increase patient access to new therapies and treatments with targeted funding, programs, and connections.

The five key opportunities identified in the research pipeline are:

  1. Invest in new ideas and new researchers: Fund transformative projects and support emerging clinician researchers
  2. Accelerate research translation: Invest in moving research from the laboratory to human trials
  3. Establish targeted clinical research funding schemes: Increased duration and funding
  4. Connect Australian clinical research resources and infrastructure: Facilitate national access
  5. Build targeted partnerships and collaborations: Partner with global networks and industry

As a member of the National Diabetes Strategy Advisory Group, JDRF Australia is committed to working with the Australian Government to help prioritise the national response to diabetes and identify appropriate approaches to addressing the impact of diabetes in the type 1 diabetes community. The publication of the Resource Map is a significant contribution towards this goal.

To access a copy of the Resource Map and to learn more about Australian clinical trials in type 1 diabetes, visit www.t1dcrn.org.au.

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