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21th Annual Shooting Stars JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes Sunday, October 23, 2016 in Newport Beach, CA at The Waffle House

For a contribution of $50 (or MORE!), walkers will receive a VERY COOL Shooting Stars Team T-Shirt while supplies last. Contact Joanne if you are interested in attending the event. To donate on-line, please go to:

Savvy Updates, 7/8/2017: Novo Nordisk RECALL, Nasal Glucagon, ‘Smart’ Insulin Patch, ‘Smartmat’

Novo Nordisk recalls faulty cartridge holders in insulin pens was announced 5 July 2017. 
Novo Nordisk said it was initiating a recall of insulin cartridge holders used in some NovoPen Echo insulin pen devices distributed in the United States because the holders may crack or break if exposed to certain chemicals, including certain cleaning agents. Using a device with a cracked or broken cartridge holder could result in delivery of a smaller dose of insulin than expected, the company said. Separately, Novo Nordisk warned of a similar problem with NovoPen Echo and NovoPen 5 devices distributed in Canada.
Read more: Novo Nordisk Recalls Cartridge Holders In Certain Novopen Echo® Insulin Delivery Devices
Nasal Glucagon Fixes Severe Hypoglycemia in Type 1 Diabetes, as reported at the ADA 2017 Scientific Sessions in June, 2017 by researchers at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine.

Giving one puff of a dry glucagon powder inside the nose of an adult with type 1 diabetes who was having a moderate to severe hypoglycemic episode was easy for a caregiver to do and led to recovery within 30 minutes in almost all patients in a phase 3 study. The treated patients recovered from hypoglycemia within a half hour in 96% of cases, and 90% of the caregivers (typically a spouse) found the product easy to use, Elizabeth R Seaquist, MD, University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Minneapolis.
Read more: Nasal Glucagon Fixes Severe Hypoglycemia in Type 1 Diabetes
‘Smart’ insulin patches developed at UNC, NCSU one step closer to market, as published in The News & Observer, 30 June 2017.

Zhen Gu, whose team at the UNC-N.C. State Biomedical Engineering Program has been leading the effort to develop “smart” insulin patches for treating diabetes, co-founded a company […]

Savvy Updates 7/6/17: Vaccine, TetraGenetics, Cure for MS, Tissue-engineered islet transplant, Glucagon-blocker

Lots of research news these days … here are a few exciting ones!
MGH study shows vaccine could permanently reverse type 1 diabetes, as reported in the Boston Business Journal, 10 June 2017.  Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital have discovered that a vaccine could permanently reverse the disease.
Dr. Denise Faustman, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital immunobiology laboratory and principal investigator of the trial, said interim results show that unlike other vaccines that irritate white blood cells to prompt an immune response, the BCG vaccine affects white blood cells at the genetic level, regulating which genes are expressed and which are not. The body consequently stops producing the abnormal white blood cells responsible for the autoimmune disease, suggesting that the vaccine could permanently reverse type 1 diabetes.
“The vaccine actually resets your genes to restore normality,” Faustman said in an interview. “What it is showing is it’s not merely the vaccine you’re being given and it causes inflammation or an immune response. It’s actually working at the most basic DNA level to normalize expression of genes related to this abnormal immune response.”
Read more: MGH study shows vaccine could permanently reverse type 1 diabetes
JDRF Invests in TetraGenetics’ Innovative Approach to Type 1 Diabetes Prevention was highlighted in, June 2017. 
A unique scientific approach to preventing, treating and, perhaps one day, curing type 1 diabetes is being coupled with JDRF’s equally innovative approach to funding such studies in a new partnership that might move the promise of a preventive therapy and improved treatment for the condition closer to reality.
The big picture view is that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, meaning that the body’s own immune system attacks insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, killing them and […]

Savvy Update 5.13.2017 ~ sugarBEAT CGM, Insulin Prices, Cured in Mice, Glycemic Variability OK?

Lots of news in the diabetes world … here are some interesting ones!

sugarBEAT by Nemaura, is a new CGM is approved and will be available for use in Europe by the end of 2017, according to a report on, 4/2017.
The sugarBEAT CGM uses a patch without needles. More specifically, according to a news release from the company, “the core platform diagnostic technology is based on micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) designed to non-invasively draw out glucose through the skin to a reservoir within a skin-patch, where it is measured by a sensor. The data is then sent by bluetooth to a mobile phone application where it is displayed in numerical or graphical form.”
The patch is applied after a finger stick blood test to calibrate the path. It then takes up to 30 minutes to warm up before it starts delivering glucose readings once every five minutes to an app.
The patch can be worn for up to 24 hours at a time but users have the flexibility to wear it for only a few hours or, “on an ad hoc basis,” according to Nemaura.
Read more: Needle-free Patch CGM to Launch in Europe
About Insulin!
Eli Lilly raised prices on 9 drugs last week, including Humalog and Humulin!
Pretty outrageous, coming on the heels of an Access Workshop, regarding insulin affodability & access.          Read Mike Hoskins article on DiabetesMine, 12 May 2017:  So, I am MAD …
Nevada Lawmaker Strips Refund Provision from Insulin Bill, as reported by AP, 2 May 2017. 
A Nevada state lawmaker and backers of a proposal to control insulin prices on Tuesday withdrew a key provision of the bill that would have made the state the first in the U.S. to mandate drugmakers refund diabetics or their insurance […]

Savvy Updates 3.27.2017: Immune Response, 2 Types of Beta Cells, Wearable CGMs, Health Apps, Twins

children and twins concept – two identical twin girls in red dresses looking somewhere

As always, lots of news in the T1d community.  Here goes!

Preventing the Immune Response to Implanted Diabetes Devices was reported by Jessica Apple on last week. 
JDRF announced a report of one of the first studies to deeply examine the fundamentals of how the immune system interacts with implantable biomaterials. The study was conducted by researchers at MIT and Boston Children’s Hospital and was reported in the journal Nature Materials.
According to JDRF’s press release, tens of millions of people in the United States are living with implanted biomedical devices or devices that penetrate the skin. “By understanding how to target and prevent unnecessary immune responses to the materials used in medical devices, we can provide therapies that work more effectively and with fewer negative side effects,” said Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D., JDRF Chief Mission Officer. The new report, “Colony stimulating factor-1 receptor is a central component of the foreign body response to biomaterial implants in rodents and non-human primates,” could influence the future ability to prevent immune rejection of devices that treat type 1 diabetes.
Read more:
Preventing the Immune Response to Implanted Diabetes Devices
New Research Identifies Novel Target for Controlling Immune Response to Implanted Materials
Colony stimulating factor-1 receptor is a central component of the foreign body response to biomaterial implants in rodents and non-human primates
There are Two Types of Beta Cells and One Resists Immune System Attacks, according to a new study published in Cell Metabolism, 7 March 2017, which details a subpopulation of insulin-making beta cells that can resist immune system attacks while type 1 diabetes is developing.
In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the insulin producing beta cells, which over time […]

Savvy Updates 3.12.17: Alexa, Live Stem Cell Imaging, New Cause of T1

Wow, some really neat stuff in the news!
Merck aims to put Amazon’s Alexa to work on voice-enabled diabetes tools, according to a post on by Beth Snyder Bulik, 8 March 2017 … thanks to Mike Hoskins for the heads up.
Using Amazon Lex, the brains behind the Amazon Echo device and its well-known voice-enabled assistant Alexa, Merck & Co, in a new partnership with Amazon Web Services, plans to initially work on diabetes. Its first initiative will be a call to entrepreneurs, techies and industry types for an innovation challenge expected to begin within the next month.
The yet-to-be-named challenge will be run by strategy and innovation consultancy Luminary Labs. While specifics haven’t been released, the call to action will “be open to solutions broadly enough that innovators of all stripes can come up with really novel ideas but being narrow enough to provide guidance and carefully evaluate submissions,” said Sara Holoubek, founder and CEO of Luminary Labs.
Read more: Merck aims to put Amazon’s Alexa to work on voice-enabled diabetes tools

Live stem cell imaging technique opens new windows into pancreatic regeneration, as posted on, by Camille Bienvenu, 3 March 2017. 
Richard Tan, a PhD student from the Heart Research Institute, in Sydney, Australia, has developed so called “bioluminescent” (that emit a light signal in order to track their fate in real time once injected into the body) stem cells as a non-invasive way to give scientists immediate feedback on whether organ tissue regeneration is actually working.
In type 1 diabetes, stem cell-based therapies hold promise to regenerate cells of the pancreas. The goal is to have the stem cells transform into insulin-producing cells.
Read more: Live stem cell imaging technique opens new windows into pancreatic regeneration
Stem cells are […]

T1D Exchange and their First Annual Diabetes Innovation Challenge

This is exciting!






T1D Exchange and M2D2, a joint venture of the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Worcester campuses that incubates medical device start-ups,  have announced the first annual Diabetes Innovation Challenge (2016).


The Diabetes Innovation Challenge will provide up to two awards of up to $150,000 in cash or in-kind services provided by T1D Exchange, M2D2, and Challenge sponsors, including the American Diabetes Association and JDRF.

For this year’s innovation Challenge, nearly 60 innovators submitted their applications for consideration. T1D Exchange has narrowed the list down to 26 semi-finalists.

Now, semi-finalists will pitch their innovations in one of two competitions in front of a panel of esteemed judges (think Shark Tank) with the hopes of advancing to our finals event.

Who We Selected

Semi-finalists were chosen based on a few criteria, including what stage of development their innovation was (either early stage or translational) and whether their solution fit into one of our four innovation categories (a device, diagnostic, therapeutic or technology).

Here’s a quick look at just a few semi-finalists:

from Enable Biosciences, an ultrasensitive auto-antibody test to detect diabetes sooner than what’s possible today

from CamMed, a thin, flexible patch pump for one or multiple injectable medications

from Dibatech, a portable and re-chargeable device that can keep insulin stable at unfavorable temperatures in areas with erratic power supply (focused on third-world countries)

from Sproutel, a smart teddy bear teaching tool that helps young helps children gain hands-on skills in diabetes management (through play)

from Clinitech, an electronic band-aid for noninvasive glucose monitoring

What’s next?

T1D Exchange will host two semi-finals events in late September and early October. From there, finalists will be selected who will present their solutions in late October to another panel of esteemed judges. While award winners will receive […]

Clinical Trial OPEN: Liver-Targeted Insulin More Effective than Insulin?

Trial name: Study of HDV Insulin Versus Insulin in Type 1 Diabetes Subjects

Diabetes type: Type 1 diabetes

What the trial is testing: This six-month study will test the safety and efficacy of HDV insulin, a new technology that directs meal-time rapid-acting insulin toward the liver.

What the trial is measuring: The trial will test HDV insulin’s effect on A1c, fasting blood glucose levels, frequency of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), body weight, and insulin dose.

Why this is new/important: HDV (“Hepatocyte Directed Vesicle”) technology consists of small molecules that attach to insulin and deliver it to the liver. In people without diabetes, the liver uses up to 80% of the pancreas’ entire insulin production, storing glucose for later release to counteract low blood sugar. The liver houses the only cells in the body that can both store and release glucose; cells in other tissues can use glucose in response to pancreatic or injected insulin, but because they are not exposed to the liver’s glucose-releasing hormone, glucagon, they are unable to release stored glucose to counteract low blood sugar. In contrast, only a fraction of injected insulin reaches the liver, leaving most to act on other tissues.

Targeting insulin specifically to the liver at meal-time is an exciting improvement because it more closely mimics the body’s natural insulin production. Some believe it will bring a lower risk of hypoglycemia and less weight gain.

Safety concerns impeded the testing of an earlier version of liver-targeted insulin called peglispro. This new form of basal insulin was made by Lilly Diabetes for use in people with type 2 diabetes, but issues with liver enzymes halted development. With a different liver delivery mechanism and pre-meal instead of basal insulin, Diasome hopes its HDV technology will […]

Savvy Updates 8/20/2016: Gut Microbiome, Glucagon, UCI’s Dr. Lakey, 3-Drug Combo for Control

Relationship between the composition of the gut microbiome and diabetes is being demonstrated repeated in studies, as reported in Endocrinology Advisor by Tori Rodriguez, August 11, 2016.

In a twin study by researchers at Harvard Medical School, MIT and Seoul National University in South Korea, published in 2016, there is an altered function and composition of the gut microbiome with biomarkers of subclinical T2 diabetes.  Among other systems and processes, microbiota has effects on the immune system, which indicates that it alters inflammatory markets and T cell subset regulation.  A shift in immune response is significant as it applies to T1 diabetes and may be of particular interest for T2 diabetes.  Indeed, as previous research has shown, “while the microbiome of healthy infants becomes more stable and diverse as they approach toddlerhood, the microbiome of those at high risk of autoimmunity become less stable and diverse, which could result in distinct differences in the autoimmune microbiome between healthy children and those with type 1 diabetes.”

The gut microbiome may increase understanding  of the pathogenesis of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
“The development of type 1 diabetes seems to be associated with a reduced bacterial diversity in the gut, and this phenomenon appears after seroconversion to positivity for diabetes-associated autoantibodies,” says study co-author Mikael Knip, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics at the University of Helsinki in Finland. “This indicates that the dysbiosis may be involved in the progression from autoantibody positivity to overt disease but not with the initiation of beta-cell autoimmunity,” he said. Additionally, those who progress to type 1 diabetes show a reduced number of beneficial bacteria and an increased number of bacteria with pathogenic potential.”

Read more: Role of the Gut Microbiome in Diabetes


Glucagon – […]

Savvy Updates 7/21/2016: CGM Benefits Shot Takers, Sleep & Diabetes Risk, Human Gut Microbiome, Intensive BG Control and Kidneys

CGM Benefits Injection Users, according to the results from Dexcom’s DIaMonD Study, presented at the ADA Scientific Sessions in June, 2016 and reported by, 6/28/2016.  According to Dr. Howard Wolpert of the Joslin Diabetes Center, healthcare providers should consider recommending CGM to ALL patients with Type 1 diabetes who have not attained their glucose goals, not just those on insulin pumps.  Currently only about 7% of MDI users with Type 1 use CGM.

DIaMonD adds to the evidence that CGM improves time-in-range, reduces highs and lows, and improves A1c. This does not come as a surprise since glucose value and trend can be observed every five minutes and alarms sound for lows and highs, allowing people to recognize patterns, tighten the feedback loop, and take action to improve.
I’ve always said that if I were forced to choose between using a pump or using CGM, hands down, I’d choose my CGM.  Even though it is not perfect and you have to make sure not to overreact and overcorrect with such instantaneous data, it gives me trends and patters as well as annoying but necessary alerts.
By the way, DIaMonD stands for Daily Injections and continuous glucose Monitoring in Diabetes.
Read more: Does CGM Benefit Injection Users? Yes!

Men Who Sleep Too Much OR Too Little May Have Impaired Insulin Sensitivity … BUT NOT WOMEN, according to a study published on June 29, 2016 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, and reported in
Really?!?!?  Wow, that’s wild!
Compared with men who slept about 7 hours a night, the men who slept the most or the least were more likely to have impaired insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function, putting them at increased risk for diabetes.
However, the researchers found that compared with […]

Savvy Updates: 5/30/2016: T1 and Bacteria, 90-day CGM, Lab Beta Cells, & MORE

Type 1 Diabetes May Be Triggered by Bacteria

Reported by Honor Whiteman,, 5/17/2016
A study by researchers from Cardiff University in the UK suggests that a part of a bacterium that activates killer T cells may cause them to bind to beta cells and kill them.
“Killer T cells sense their environment using cell surface receptors that act like highly sensitive fingertips, scanning for germs,” explains Dr. David Cole of the School of Medicine at Cardiff.
“However, sometimes these sensors recognize the wrong target, and the killer T cells attack our own tissue. We, and others, have shown this is what happens during type 1 diabetes when killer T cells target and destroy beta cells.”
Once these beta cells are destroyed, insulin is no longer produced, meaning patients will require lifelong insulin therapy in order to control blood glucose levels.
In other words, Killer T cells go “a little crazy” and kill the wrong guys!
Read more: Type 1 Diabetes May Be Triggered by Bacteria7

Eversense 90-day Implantable CGM Receives CE Mark Approval

diaTribe 5/20/2016
Senseonics recently announced CE Mark approval in Europe for its Eversense 90-day implantable CGM sensor, body-worn transmitter (worn over the sensor), and mobile app for viewing real-time glucose data.
Eversense is being positioned as the “world’s first long-term wear sensor,” as current glucose sensors from Abbott (FreeStyle Libre), Dexcom (G4, G5), and Medtronic (Enlite, Enlite 2) require a new insertion every 7-14 days. Eversense uses a 90-day implanted sensor (a bit larger than a pill) that is placed in the upper arm in a 5-10 minute in-office procedure. A rechargeable transmitter device is worn on top of the skin, directly over the sensor, which powers the implant and sends the current glucose value and trend arrow to a smartphone. […]