Clinical Research Projects

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More Clinical Research Projects


Baricitinib in new-onset type 1 diabetes (BANDIT) clinical trial

Prof Tom Kay, St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research

The BANDIT clinical trial is testing a drug, baricitinib, that has the potential to slow or stop the onset of T1D in people at risk. There are currently no approved T1D therapies that can do this.

Led by Prof Thomas Kay and Prof Helen Thomas, researchers at St Vincent’s Institute in Melbourne have been studying the immune pathways involved in T1D for more than 30 years. Through laboratory work that JDRF has supported for over a decade, the team discovered a protein called janus kinase (JAK) that is critical to cellular pathways within beta cells and immune cells. By blocking these pathways with drugs called JAK inhibitors, the researchers were able to prevent immune cells from destroying insulin-producing beta cells – a result that could slow or even stop the onset of T1D.

Now, the BANDIT trial is the first in the world to test a JAK inhibitor in people within the first 100 days of diagnosis of T1D. Prof Kay and Prof Thomas have already shown that baricitinib can change the course of T1D in the lab. Now, they hope to see similar results in a clinical trial, meaning that people with newly diagnosed T1D could maintain their insulin production for longer.

BANDIT is a collaboration between The Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network, St Vincent’s Institute, JDRF Australia and JDRF International. Eli Lilly manufacture and provide the investigational drug for the clinical trial.

For more information or to take part, visit our Clinical Trial Finder or the BANDIT website


Strategies for drug-free immunosuppression in islet transplantation

Prof Philip O’Connell, University of Sydney

Islet transplantation – replacing the damaged islet cells in the pancreas with healthy cells from a donor – can give people with severe T1D many years of insulin independence. There are two obstacles stopping this life-changing procedure from being more widely available – a shortage of donor cells, and the need for recipient to take lifelong immunosuppression to prevent rejection.

Prof Philip O’Connell and collaborators from across Australia are aiming to make islet transplantation a viable option for more people with T1D. Their T1DCRN-funded research program is focused on developing a new islet transplantation protocol with drug-free strategies to prevent islet rejection.


Reducing extremes caused by food & exercise in young people with T1D

Prof Liz Davis, University of Western Australia

For people with type 1 diabetes, everyday activities such as exercise and eating can cause unpredictable changes in blood glucose levels, increasing the risk of dangerous hypoglycaemia and long-term complications.

This T1DCRN-funded research program aims to improve our understanding of how blood glucose is affected by exercise and food in real-life situations, and develop new guidelines for managing food and exercise. Following these guidelines could result in lower hypoglycaemia risk, more stable blood glucose levels, and increased quality of life in people with type 1 diabetes.

For more information or to take part, visit our Clinical Trial Finder.


Eye complications study: FAME-1 clinical trial

Prof Alicia Jenkins, University of Sydney

Damage to the back of the eye (retinopathy) is one of the most common complications of type 1 diabetes, and can lead to blindness. The Fenofibrate and Microvascular Events (FAME) 1 Eye Study is investigating whether fenofibrate, a drug that is used to lower cholesterol and blood fats, can slow or reverse retinopathy in adults with T1D.

Fenofibrate is already approved for use to treat retinopathy in people with type 2 diabetes. Funded in collaboration with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the FAME-1 clinical trial is testing the efficacy of the drug in people with T1D for the first time.

For more information or to take part, visit out Clinical Trial Finder.


Kidney complications study: Nox 1 and 4 inhibitor clinical trial

Prof Jonathan Shaw, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute

Prof Shaw and collaborators across Australia are investigating whether a new type of antioxidant drug can improve kidney function in people with type 1 diabetes.

Even with careful blood glucose management, many people with type 1 diabetes develop kidney complications. Current treatment options for diabetic kidney disease can slow but not stop its progression. There is an urgent need to develop new treatments to arrest, reverse and prevent the development of kidney complications.


Hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery

Prof David O’Neal, University of Melbourne and Prof Tim Jones, University of Western Australia

Closed-loop systems revolutionise T1D treatment by acting like an artificial pancreas, continuously monitoring blood glucose levels and delivering precise amounts of insulin when it is needed.

The T1DCRN funds the world’s longest and largest at-home trial of a hybrid closed-loop system, taking place across Australia. The trial is divided into sub-studies in adults (led by Prof O’Neal) and children (led by Prof Jones), looking at the benefits of closed-loop systems. Beyond just blood glucose control, the studies are examining the effects of closed-loop use on quality of life measures like sleep, cognitive function, mental health and overall well-being.

Read the latest results from this trial here.

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