Steve Morgan Foundation donates £50m to the race to cure Type 1 diabetes

There has been an historic £50m investment from the Steve Morgan Foundation into Type 1 diabetes research.

The donation – the largest ever single gift in the UK for diabetes research – will pave the way for the development of new treatments for Type 1 diabetes, bringing a cure closer. Diabetes UK has joined forces with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to make sure this donation funds the best scientists and most promising research projects as part of the Steve Morgan Foundation Type 1 Diabetes Grand Challenge.

The Steve Morgan Foundation (SMF) founder Steve Morgan and his wife and SMF trustee Sally, are driven by their personal connection with the condition as their son Hugo was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of seven.

Through the extraordinary and unparalleled £50 million investment from the Steve Morgan Foundation, the partnership will fund game-changing Type 1 diabetes research that will drive forward the development of new treatments and cures.

SMF’s donation is the largest ever single gift in the UK for diabetes research, and this is the first time that JDRF UK and Diabetes UK have partnered with a foundation to deliver research at this scale. SMF has donated a total of £7m to JDRF over the last three years, becoming the biggest single donor in the charity’s history.

Grand challenge
The SMF Type 1 Diabetes Grand Challenge will focus on three areas of research, which were decided on after consultation with world-class scientists and people with type 1 diabetes. These areas were identified as carrying the most potential to improve the lives of people with type 1 and propel us towards a cure:

  • Treatments to replace or rescue insulin-making beta cells in the pancreas
  • Treatments to stop the immune system’s attack that destroys insulin-making beta cells
  • Next generation insulins, such as those that respond to changing blood sugar levels

Commenting, JDRF’s chief executive Karen Addington said, “JDRF was founded on the values and practice of collaboration, both in the UK and internationally, and together with the Steve Morgan Foundation and Diabetes UK, we will drive research further, leading from the UK and drawing on JDRF’s global network of research excellence. I always think about the critically ill, eleven-year-old boy, Leonard Thompson whose life was saved 100 years ago, the first person ever to receive a dose of insulin. The Nobel Prize winning discovery of insulin was one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century. Together, through the SMF Type 1 Diabetes Grand Challenge we will match the ambition of those scientists a century ago in our drive and expertise to cure Type 1 diabetes.”

Chris Askew OBE, chief executive at Diabetes UK, added, “We’re delighted to launch this prestigious partnership with the Steve Morgan Foundation and JDRF UK. This unparalleled investment will change the course of Type 1 diabetes research forever, galvanising the diabetes research community and accelerating us towards a cure that will change millions of lives not only in the UK but worldwide. We’re incredibly grateful to Steve and Sally Morgan for their investment and their commitment to transforming the lives of people with Type 1 diabetes. This is a call to arms for the scientific community, and we look forward to working with JDRF UK to unite the brightest minds in Type 1 diabetes research to fuel new breakthroughs, together.”




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