Eli Lilly has entered into a multi-year research collaboration with T1D Exchange, the first programme launched by US-based non-profit Unitio, to gather real-world insights into the experiences of people with type 1 diabetes.

The collaboration will involve multiple projects over an initial five-year period. These programmes will combine Lilly’s expertise in type 1 diabetes with the T1D Exchange patient-centric research model.

Initially set up as a three-year, US$26 million project funded by the Leona M and Harry B Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Type 1 Diabetes Program, T1D Exchange incorporates a clinical registry of more than 26,000 people with type-1 diabetes (T1D); a network of over 70 clinics across the US; a repository of patients’ biosamples; and Glu, an online T1D community for patients and caregivers.

The aim of the T1D Exchange Clinic Registry is to provide real-world data on a large population of children and adults with type 1 diabetes, as a resource for both academic and industry researchers

Unitio was subsequently launched as an umbrella organisation for T1D Exchange and any related initiatives last November.

Understanding the needs

“Having access to the resources of T1D Exchange to bolster our understanding of the needs of people with type 1 diabetes, their caregivers and healthcare providers, will help us continue our mission of addressing the global diabetes burden through the development of innovative medicines and programmes,”  said Dr Dara Schuster, medical fellow, Lilly Diabetes.

The first project under the collaboration will assess user experience associated with insulin pumps and multiple daily injections in diabetes.

As an initial step, Lilly and TD1 Exchange will develop a survey of healthcare providers from the clinical network and members of the Glu community, based on an analysis of T1D Exchange data.

Following the survey, the partners intend to conduct a study of clinical-registry participants, which should further illuminate how insulin pumps are used and how multiple daily injections occur in real-world practice.

Once they have been analysed, data and recommendations from this research will be shared publicly for the benefit of both the type 1-diabetes and research communities, Lilly and TD1 Exchange noted.