JDRF welcomes commitment to continue work of Clinical Research Network by the Coalition Government

February 04, 2019

Funding will help support translate more innovations into useful treatments for people living with type 1 diabetes.

JDRF welcomes the news today that the Liberal National Government has committed to continued support of the Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network (CRN).  The $54.5m over five years, will continue the work of the network, most recently supported by a $35m injection by the Government in 2014.

The CRN plays an integral role in supporting world class Australian research into the cure, prevention and treatment of type 1 diabetes. The CRN is vital to all Australians with type 1 diabetes by providing access to innovative clinical trials while supporting researchers to work together with Australian and international colleagues to ensure innovations and discoveries are translated from the lab into safe, effective treatments.  The announcement sits alongside the recent announcement of $100m over the next four years that ensures continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) are available to 37,000 people living with type 1 diabetes.

Commenting on the announcement, head of research development at JDRF and the director of the CRN, Dr. Dorota Pawlak says,  “Today is an incredibly important day for people living with type 1 diabetes. The research conducted by the CRN is centred on delivering patient benefit. The CRN provides a national platform for innovation and collaborative research that needs to continue to develop a greater understanding of type 1 diabetes, inform health policy and develop treatments that hopefully one day deliver a world without type 1 reach. We are fortunate that we have a government that can see the value of innovation – but programs like the CRN require sustained funding to support transition of Australian discoveries to affordable treatment at the bench side – and that is why we are so grateful for this funding commitment.”

Acting CEO of JDRF, Angela McKay, says that this commitment is testament to the type 1 diabetes community and their advocacy.  “JDRF advocates and their families have been steadfast in their advocacy, reminding MPs, decision makers and stakeholders that research holds the key to a world without type 1 diabetes. This world cannot be delivered without new innovations – and these can’t come to life without support for research. From JDRF, our board and staff and our advocates and community we serve, we say thank you”.

Professor Peter Colman (AM) the Chair of the CRN Steering Committee and a Clinical Professor at the University of Melbourne, and the recipient of grants through the CRN process. “The CRN is world-class in its approach to research, collaboration and patient benefit. It allows me to easily work with researchers locally and globally and its continuation means myself and other researchers around Australia know we can continue our work and focus on patients, not the scarcity of funding.”

To date, the CRN, which was started with a $5 million grant by the ALP in 2010 and received a further $35m of support from the coalition in in 2014, has ensured over 13,000 Australians have contributed to a greater understanding of type 1 diabetes and has seen eleven world first studies being conducted here in Australia. One of the intended next projects would be increase the understanding of the natural history and causes and of type 1 diabetes, potentially leading to novel prevention approaches. Eventually it would provide doctors with critical information that would help with the earlier detection of the autoimmune process that leads to type 1 diabetes, allowing for early specialised care and minimising hospital admissions. Research such as this would only be possible through a vehicle like the CRN.

Read the full media release.