Last year, JDRF announced a partnership with Johnson & Johnson and Dexcom for the Artificial Pancreas Project (APP). The internet discussion boards and blogosphere ignited with a huge amount of debate about this issue. Some outraged parents felt betrayed that JDRF had "given up" on finding a cure.
I think many of these online rants were short sighted and may have been unjustly charged by strong emotion.
The fact of the matter is, I don't feel that JDRF has ever lost sight of a cure for diabetes. But a cure for many of us also involves reversing its complications. Or preventing diabetes in our children and grandchildren. Better therapeutics can be by-products or milestones towards an ultimate cure. None of these things have to be mutually exclusive. And I'm happy to have personally witnessed how this organization explores many different avenues to get us closer to cures and treatments.
Yesterday, Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) announced that they have signed an agreement to fund early-stage research that could enable patients with type 1 diabetes to regenerate insulin-producing cells destroyed by the disease. Isn't this a potential pathway to a cure? Yep. It could very well be. But I don't want to place all my bets on this one line of research either.
There are some interesting discussions on this subject going on right now. Check it out on children with diabetes and juvenation.
Disclosure- I serve as a national VOLUNTEER for JDRF. I don't do this for some unspecified loyalty to the foundation. Rather, I do it on behalf of my wife and daughter, and I feel that joining the founding parents who created this organization gives my family the best shot at life without the burden of diabetes.