The Swedish-Danish type 1 diabetes project DiaUnion has received an additional EUR 1 million funding to investigate the link between type 1 diabetes and related autoimmune diseases.
Type 1 diabetes causes the immune system to attack and destroy the body’s own vital insulin-producing cells. The disease is chronic and typically affects children and adolescents. In Sweden, about 50,000 people live with type 1 diabetes, and the situation in Denmark is similar. In January 2020, a new Danish-Swedish collaborative project, DiaUnion, started, with the aim of being able to establish a screening program aimed at Swedish and Danish children. The project has now been awarded an additional EUR 1 million for a feasibility study of this screening program.
“We want answers to what triggers the immune system’s attack on the insulin-producing cells. By screening children before the disease has broken out, we hope to be able to identify risk factors and in the long run prevent outbreaks of type 1 diabetes as well as celiac disease and thyroiditis. The awarded support is very good news for diabetes research,” says professors Daniel Agardh, Flemming Pociot and Aake Lernmark, who head up the project.
The participants in the DiaUnion project are the Capital Region of Denmark, Region Skaane, Lund University and Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen. The collaboration is coordinated and led via the Danish-Swedish cluster organization Medicon Valley Alliance. The funding comes from the participating parties, as well as the EU / Interreg ØKS and the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
“Diabetes research is one of Medicon Valley’s strongest areas with globally leading research, clinics and companies. DiaUnion is an excellent example of how we can join forces around common health challenges,” says Petter Hartman, director of the Medicon Valley Alliance.
The project will be completed in September 2022.