It’s “In the News…” Got a few minutes? Get caught up! Our top stories this week include testing a new treatment for leukemia to see if it might help with type 1, Black patients with type 1 are at higher risk of DKA, transitioning from teen care to adult care, updates on Eversense in the US and Dexcom One in the UK and front office changes at Beyond Type 1 and Vertex.
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Hello and welcome to Diabetes Connections In the News! I’m Stacey Simms and these are the top diabetes stories and headlines of the past seven days. we go live on social media first and then All sources linked up at diabetes dash connections dot com when this airs as a podcast.
The news is brought to you by The World’s Worst Diabetes Mom: Real Life Stories of Parenting a Child With Type 1 Diabetes. Winner of best new non-fiction at the American Book Fest and named a Book Authority best parenting book. Available in paperback, eBook or audio book at amazon.
Interesting look at whether a treatment for leukemia might work against type 1. Very early on here.. but AVM Biotechnology has received a grant to find out. The drug doesn’t have a name yet.. it’s referred to as AVM-0703 and has been shown to delay T1D in the lab.
A preclinical dose-finding and mechanism of action (MOA) study in three scenarios including pre-diabetic, new-onset, and established diabetes is the first aim of the program. Those results will be used to determine the targeted dose to be used in a pivotal efficacy study for reversal of new-onset and established diabetes. It is anticipated that for patients not showing remission, AVM0703 may reinforce other immunotherapies allowing a wider range of patients to achieve insulin independence.
Black patients with type 1 faced a significantly higher frequency of diabetic ketoacidosis during the pandemic, and particularly during surges, researchers reported. This was a big study at several different health centers and hospitals. Researchers found there was not significant difference in the number of patients in DKA from 2019 versus 2020.. but there was a higher proportion of Black patients. The trend continued through the pandemic and again, it was significant, 48-percent versus 18 percent. Pandemic surges emphasized the disparity even more. These researchers say their work shows racial inequities in diabetes care were present before the pandemic, starkly visible during the pandemic, and will continue to persist after the pandemic — unless we systemically root out and target racial inequities in diabetes care,”
A new look the transition from pediatric to adult care for people with type 1 shows.. it needs improvement. This research – based on interviews with older adolescents showed many felt unprepared and dissatisfied with the transition process. Three big takeaways – the teens are aware of the changing relationship with their parents and health care teams and often want more independence than the parents are willing to give… the teens want acknowledgement that being diagnosed at different ages means they may be more or less comfortable with self-management and the third is that they think their pediatric team isn’t preparing them to work with adult providers. Personally, this means a lot to me – as my son is 17 – and I’ll be asking his peds endo to work with him more on this stuff in the next couple of years.
DiabetesWise announces the launch of it’s new Pro website. It’s an unbranded non-biased resource created at Stanford University to help make providers more informed about diabetes devices and streamline the prescription process. We’ve talked about Diabetes Wise before and I’ll link it up here. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the evolving choices and providers are in the same situation.
The DiabetesWise Pro website has an extensive Device Library where providers can learn about all of the FDA-approved diabetes devices on the market based on the patient’s considerations. The user can compare the devices from the different manufacturers using the Compare Device tool, which displays a side-by-side analysis of the components and details of each technology, including the steps for ordering and prescribing the device. Providers can then build a comparison report of the two devices to share with their patients, colleagues, and community.
Along with the Device Library, providers can receive help with ordering and prescribing the devices for their patients using the Prescription Tools feature on the website. The Prescription Tool directs the user to a guide providing accurate up-to-date information on the necessary steps for filing a prescription and ordering the device for the patient. DiabetesWise Pro has plans to update the tool to include details on the approval of devices for patients based on insurance type.
DiabetesWise Pro website features for use in clinic include:
1. Device Library- Information on specific device fundamentals
2. Comparison Tool- Comprehensive tool that allows you to compare device recommendations and share with patients
3. Prescription Tool- A step-to-step guide for ordering the device and filling a prescription based on insurance type
4. Resources for providers by providers- best tips, tricks, and workarounds for diabetes technology from providers
With this new resource, there have also been enhancements to the patient-facing website at DiabetesWise. Newly approved devices have been added and there are now Spanish-language versions of the Check-Up and Device Finder.
FDA approval in February, now the Eversense six-month CGM is rolling out to patients. The price is set at 99-dollars out of pocket for the first transmitter and sensor and then $100 per month for the six months of wear. The device includes a small fluorescence-based sensor, about the size of a grain of rice, which is fully embedded in the upper arm. A transmitter stuck to the skin over the sensor reads the data, transmits the information to a smartphone and provides vibration alerts for changes in blood sugar.
Dexcom ONE is getting a big roll out in the UK. We’ve talked about this a couple of times in the past.. it’s the same Dexcom technology but a bit pared down and at lower cost. This news comes as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) announced new guidance for adults and children managing Type 1 diabetes. NICE now recommends that adults with Type 1 diabetes be offered a choice of glucose sensors. G6 is already offered there and the G7 will be as well, but this is about national health service coverage, and the Dexcom One is the only system under consideration there.
Some front office news around the community..
Stem cell pioneer Doug Melton is leaving Harvard to join Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Not entirely unexpected – Melton’s company Semma was purchased by Vertex and they are moving ahead toward stem cell transplantation as a functional cure for type 1. This was the company that got all those headlines last fall about the cure – you remember “It worked in this one guy!” Melton is joining the company as a distinguished Vertex Fellow. Semma, by the way, was named after his two adult children who live with type 1 – Sam & Emma.
Beyond Type 1 names Deborah Dugan as CEO. She replaces Thom Scher who died suddenly and unexpectedly in December. Dugan was previously the CEO of RED, the not-for-profit organization founded by U-2’s Bono (bah no) and Bobby Shriver to raise awareness in the fight against AIDS. Dugan, has been recognized as one of the “100 Most Powerful Women” by Forbes, “Top Woman to Help Change the World” by Elle and as a “Nelson Mandela Changemaker”
Congratulations to Leo and Alana Folsom who welcome a baby boy. The couple was on a recent season of the Amazing Race and after we all saw Leo’s Dexcom in one of the first episodes, he came on this show to share his story. Leo lives with congenital hyperinsulinism, where the body makes too much insulin, and had almost his entire pancreas removed. He told me at the time he was amazed by the diabetes community’s support. So I just wanted to say congrats to him and to Alana and help welcome baby Kitt Edwin Folsom.
On this week’s long format episode, Laurie Harper shares her story… Laurie was diagnosed as a toddler back in 1955. She’s in the Joslin Medalist Study and talks about the difference this incredible group is making. Next week you’ll hear from World Champion Kayaker Sage Donnely who was diagnosed with type 1 at age 3 when she’d already been kayacking for almost a year.
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That’s In the News for this week.. if you like it, please share it! Thanks for joining me! See you back here soon.