Boehringer Ingelheim and EFSD announce first recipients of diabetes research funding

Boehringer IngelheimThe Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) and European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD) partnership today announced the recipients of their European-wide funding initiative targeted at diabetes research. Totalling €2.5 million, these are the first grants to be awarded as part of the EFSD/Boehringer Ingelheim European Diabetes Research Programmes, which aim to stimulate and accelerate European research in diabetes.

The awards are given for outstanding research into cutting-edge approaches to diabetes, focusing on two areas of interest:

  • Regulations of secretion and/or function of non-insulin peptides from the endocrine pancreas (basic research)
  • Mechanisms relating renal dysfunction to cardiovascular disease in Type 2 Diabetes (clinical research)

In announcing the recipients, Prof. Klaus Dugi, Corporate Senior Vice President Medicine, Boehringer Ingelheim, commented "These grants reflect our continued commitment to supporting medical innovation in diabetes research, a disease which affects over 370 million people worldwide. It is through continued independent research in this area that we will better understand how we can improve outcomes for patients with diabetes."

The successful proposals were subject to a scientific review by a specialist independent committee, from which 3 winners were selected from across Europe, based on criteria including significance, approach and innovation.

The following proposals have been awarded funding:

  • Stefan Amisten: King's College London - UK
  • Identification and functional characterisation of peptide ligands of G-protein coupled receptors in mouse and human islets
  • Hiddo Heerspink: University Medical Center Groningen - The Netherlands
  • Urinary proteomics to predict and unravel mechanisms of renal and cardiovascular disease in diabetic nephropathy
  • Markus van der Giet: Charity University Berlin - Germany
  • Biomarker-based formula to predict HDL functionality in patients with chronic kidney disease and diabetes mellitus

Prof. Andrew J. M. Boulton, President of EASD/EFSD, said "EFSD is proud to join forces with Boehringer Ingelheim to further explore one of the defining health problems of the 21st century. Diabetes remains insufficiently understood and its impact on those living with the condition is immeasurable. The quality of grant applications received is an encouraging sign of the continued efforts being made by researchers who have valuable contributions to make towards expanding our knowledge and understanding of this disease."

Diabetes is a chronic condition which affects approximately 371 million people worldwide.(1) Over the next 20 years, the number of people with the condition is expected to increase by 50%, reaching close to 552 million.(2) Through innovative research, the EFSD/Boehringer Ingelheim European Diabetes Research Programmes aim to advance the knowledge of diabetes, its prevention and treatment with a view to easing the burden on people with diabetes.

About Diabetes
An estimated 371 million people worldwide have Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.(1) Type 2 Diabetes is the most common type, accounting for an estimated 90% of all diabetes cases.(3) Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body either does not properly produce, or use, the hormone insulin.(4)

About Boehringer Ingelheim
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 140 affiliates and more than 46,000 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

Social responsibility is a central element of Boehringer Ingelheim's culture. Involvement in social projects, caring for employees and their families, and providing equal opportunities for all employees form the foundation of the global operations. Mutual cooperation and respect, as well as environmental protection and sustainability are intrinsic factors in all of Boehringer Ingelheim's endeavours.

In 2012, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about 14.7 billion euro. R&D expenditure in the business area Prescription Medicines corresponds to 22.5% of its net sales.

About the EFSD
The European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD) was created by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) to provide multiple funding initiatives in all areas of diabetes research. The aims of EASD and EFSD are to encourage and support research in the field of diabetes, to rapidly diffuse acquired knowledge and to facilitate its application.

1. International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas Poster. 2012 Update. 2012(5th Edition).
2. International Diabetes Federation. Diabetes Atlas: Fifth Edition, 2011.
3. World Health Organization: Fact Sheet No. 312 What is Diabetes? 2010.
4. International Diabetes Federation. What is Diabetes? IDF Diabetes Atlas. 2011 (5th Edition)