ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The American Diabetes Association hasannounced the launch of a large-scale new program, Pathway to Stop Diabetes.The initiative will aim to inspire and support the next generation of diabetesresearchers as they pursue transformational approaches that could lead to newdevelopments in diabetes prevention and treatment.
"Today, one in 12 Americans has diabetes, and if ourcurrent course as a nation continues, by 2050, one in three American adultswill have diabetes. Although this is one of the greatest public health crisesour country is currently facing, diabetes research is severely underfunded,"Karen Talmadge, Ph.D., chair of the Board-Elect and vice chair of the ResearchFoundation of the American Diabetes Association, said in a press release. "Thisdisparity has a limiting effect on innovations and breakthroughs -- inprevention, diagnosis, treatment and ultimately, needed cures. The AmericanDiabetes Association's Pathway to Stop Diabetes will transform diabetesresearch by discovering brilliant scientists and providing them with theresources needed for breakthrough discoveries."
The new program will support researchers just beginningtheir careers or established scientists looking to expand into diabetesresearch, making substantial financial commitments over an extended period oftime. Pathway to Stop Diabetes will award $1.625 million over the course offive to seven years, with the goal of funding at least 100 researchers over thenext decade. The initiative has received a total of $20 million in foundingcorporate support, including $7.5 million sponsorship each from VisionarySponsors Novo Nordisk Inc. and Sanofi, the latter of which made the initialcorporate sponsorship to launch the initiative, and $5 million from the Eli Lillyand Co. Foundation, a Benefactor Sponsor.
"The diabetes epidemic requires the community tocollaborate more often as there are still many avenues to explorescientifically. It's a model that fosters innovation and one we live by,"Jerzy Gruhn, president of Novo Nordisk Inc., said in a statement."Supporting Pathway to Stop Diabetes means the best and the brightestresearchers in diabetes can bring new thinking and understanding to thedevelopment of treatments that could improve patients' lives."
Diabetes statistics are reaching staggering levels. Nearly26 million children and adults in the United States along have diabetes, andanother 79 million are prediabetic. The number of diabetes patients in Americais double that of patients with cancer, and diabetes is also 20 times moreprevalent than HIV/AIDS, and yet it sees significantly less funding than eitherdisease. According to the World Health Organization, 347 million people areafflicted with the disease worldwide, and the incidence of death from diabetesis expected to increase by two-thirds between 2008 and 2030.
The Pathway to Stop Diabetes will select scientists tosupport through a Mentor Advisory Group, which will also provide ongoingscientific and career advice and work with the American Diabetic Association todevelop a collaborative environment for participating scientists.
"This partnership between Sanofi US and the AmericanDiabetes Association will allow us to combine our expertise and resources toultimately better help people living with diabetes," said Dennis Urbaniak,vice president and head of U.S. Diabetes Division for Sanofi US, in a pressrelease. "Through Pathway to Stop Diabetes, we are proud to continue tosupport the advancement of science and development of innovative, integratedand personalized solutions to help people better manage their disease."