Public Release: 

Latest strategies for moving research toward a cure for diabetes explored at global scientific forum

Innovative trials and therapeutics transforming diabetes community

JDRF

New York - May 21, 2007 -- The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the world's largest charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research, will host the Global Diabetes Research Forum (GDRF) in St. Louis on June 1, 2007 as part of its annual conference. Leaders from the scientific, medical, non-profit, and academic research communities will gather to discuss the progress toward JDRF's implemented research strategies incorporating recent clinical trials and ground-breaking therapeutics to accelerate the cure for diabetes.

"The Forum is representative of JDRF's unrelenting commitment to our billion dollar global campaign to find a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications," said Arnold Donald, President and CEO of JDRF. "With each new development found through clinical trials and cure therapeutics, we move one step closer to making our efforts in research become a reality, allowing for major transformations in diabetes care until a cure is found."

The Forum will be moderated by Dr. Phil Needleman, who spent 25 years at Washington University School of Medicine where he served as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology, and will highlight the new frontiers in diabetes research by providing specific examples of how JDRF is at the forefront of developing novel solutions. Guest speakers include Desmond Schatz, M.D., professor and associate chairman of pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine, who will speak about the JDRF clinical trial on umbilical cord blood, and Quan Dong Nguyen, M.D., M.S., with the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital, who will discuss the collaboration of JDRF and Genentech on a drug called Lucentis, shown to be effective against diabetic macular edema, a major complication that often leads to vision loss, in clinical trials.

Additionally, the Forum will present findings on beta cell regeneration, a major component of JDRF's cure therapeutics goal to help restore the body's ability to produce insulin on its own, reducing the need for insulin injections and lowering the risk for diabetes-related complications including heart disease, kidney disease and blindness.

Guest speakers Alex Rabinovitch, M.D., with the University of Alberta, Edmonton will touch on the biology of beta cell regeneration, and Aleksandra Pastrak, M.D., Ph.D., vice president of research at the Toronto-based Transition Therapeutics, Inc. will discuss the status of current beta cell regeneration clinical trials.

The Global Diabetes Research Forum is part of JDRF's "Unite to Cure" program, a national campaign to raise awareness of the importance of diabetes research, highlight JDRF's global leadership, and raise funds for the fight to find a cure for diabetes and its complications. The GDRF brings together representatives from each of these sectors, who are acknowledged leaders in the movement to create new-paradigm research management strategies. Guest speakers present their views on how to accelerate research to achieve cures and improve global health, and JDRF leadership will address ways to integrate these shared visions.

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About JDRF

JDRF is the world's largest charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research, and was founded in 1970 by the parents of children with juvenile diabetes - a disease that strikes children suddenly, makes them insulin dependent for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications. Since inception, JDRF has provided more than $1 billion to diabetes research worldwide. More than 85 percent of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and education about research. JDRF's mission is constant: to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. For more information on JDRF please visit www.jdrf.org.

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