Diabetes research funds grow

Federal government funding of $54.5 million will support research into type 1 diabetes with the aim of helping scientists to find a cure for the disease.

Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt says the funding will include $29.5 million for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s clinical research into type 1 diabetes, and $25 million awarded in competitive grants to research projects focused on early-stage research.

With 120,000 children and adults in Australia suffering with the chronic condition, for which there is no known cure, it is hoped the funds will potentially unlock new discoveries leading to clinical trials of new treatments.

Type 1 diabetes, an auto-immune disease, attacks a person’s ability to produce insulin. It is most commonly first diagnosed in children under 15 but can manifest at any age.

The funding is part of the government’s $120 billion Medical Research Future Fund, $125 million of which is allocated to assisting new, promising discoveries to become comprehensive trials with a high chance of benefiting patients.

“The research funding I am announcing today [February 4] will help to increase the excellence and impact of this research in Australia by further supporting our best and brightest researchers to find, ultimately, a cure for diabetes,” Mr Hunt said.