Background:

Diabetes is a chronic and life-changing disease, which impacts daily life and can have catastrophic near term and long term consequences. Current therapies do not cure the disease; nor can they prevent it from occurring. Although, the discovery of insulin saves lives, we have yet to find disruptive treatments that remove the challenges of the constant monitoring of blood sugar and the fears of complications.

Epidemiology:

  • 29 million people, or 9.3 % of the population, are living with diabetes in the US, and another 86 million with pre-diabetes, of which 30 % will convert to diabetes
  • More than 400 million people are living with diabetes world-wide, of which 80 % are outside the developed world
  • Two major types of diabetes, type 1 (T1D) and type 2 (T2D)
    • T1D is autoimmune in origin and represents 5-10 % of the total number
    • T2D is related to insulin resistance and obesity, and represents 90 % of all people with diabetes
    • In severe T2D, the loss of beta-cell mass renders these individuals receptive to some of the same curative measures and therapies as T1D

Costs and Complications:

  • Leading cause of kidney failure, blindness, non-traumatic amputations in the Western world and increases the risk for heart disease and stroke by 4-6 times
  • Significant driver of cognitive dysfunction, dementia and depression
  • 7th biggest reason for overall mortality in the US
  • Each year, 5 % of people with diabetes die from low blood sugar, so-called hypoglycemia
  • In the US, at least $245 million per year is spent on the management of diabetes and its complications