WHAT IS GPPAD?
The Global Platform for the Prevention of Autoimmune Diabetes (GPPAD) was initiated in 2015. Its goal is to provide an international infrastructure that will enable type 1 diabetes primary prevention trials. These trials will be built around programs that identify infants with an elevated genetic predisposition for type 1 diabetes, and will aim to reduce the incidence of the beta-cell autoimmunity that precedes clinical diabetes in children.
The incidence of childhood type 1 diabetes continues to increase. GPPAD’s long-term vision is to stop this trend. GPPAD understands that new approaches are necessary in order to achieve its vision. There must be a global action built around a platform that coordinates efforts to launch controlled prevention trials. The effort should be focused on prevention of the autoimmunity that precedes and destroys the insulin-producing cells, eventually leading to type 1 diabetes. Treatment must commence in infancy or earlier to prevent the autoimmunity that often presents at 9 to 24 months of age. GPPAD will facilitate this by establishing linked early genetic testing and follow-up programs, such as the Freder1k study in Saxony Germany.
Simple genetic testing can identify newborns with 15 to 50-fold increased risk of type 1 diabetes. Families of high-risk neonates can participate in follow-up programs for early diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, and in clinical studies that will test the efficacy of therapies such as oral insulin to prevent autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes
Importantly, the GPPAD vision requires the participation and engagement of clinicians, scientists, government, private enterprise, laypersons, and the public at large. Prevention is indeed a global effort, and GPPAD’s success will rely on its ability to integrate and inform all these parties of the need and the means to bring about prevention of a lifelong disease that, in western countries, affects 5 in every 1000 children.
GPPAD is funded by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional nonprofits and other mission-aligned organizations in health and place-based initiatives.
Original publication about GPPAD
A.G. Ziegler, T. Danne, D.B. Dunger, R. Berner, R. Puff, W. Kiess, G. Agiostratidou, J.A. Todd, E. Bonifacio: Primary prevention of beta-cell autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes – The Global Platform for the Prevention of Autoimmune Diabetes (GPPAD) perspectives. Molecular Metabolism 5 (2016) 255-262
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