Translational approaches to disease modifying therapy of type 1 diabetes - HARVESTing the fruits of INNODIA


IMI’s INNODIA project has added significantly to our understanding of type 1 diabetes (T1D). The aim of INNODIA HARVEST is to build on INNODIA’s results by carrying out additional activities that will further pave the way for new treatments to treat or even prevent T1D. As in INNODIA, people with T1D and their families are at the heart of the project through the patient advisory committee (PAC) to ensure the work meets their needs.

INNODIA HARVEST plans to consolidate the INNODIA clinical network and use it to run clinical trials of drugs designed to stop T1D.

Between them, INNODIA and INNODIA HARVEST are running four clinical trials of treatments for preventing and curing this debilitating disease. The trials focus on children, adolescents and adults, who have been diagnosed with type one diabetes within the past 6 weeks and are aged from 5 to 45 years. All trials are running on the INNODIA Master Protocol, and the PAC is helping with recruitment for the trials.

Elsewhere, INNODIA HARVEST is continuing INNODIA’s hunt for new biomarkers that could be used to track the progress of the disease, and implementing new drug discovery pipelines for novel treatments for T1D.

Achievements & News

INNODIA Young Scientist Award: exciting science, explained with clarity

Diabetes projects INNODIA and INNODIA HARVEST have announced the winners of their Young Scientists Award. The award was open to all scientists under the age of 40 who are working in INNODIA and INNODIA HARVEST. ###Entrants were asked to explain the work they do in a one-minute video, and one of the most important requirements was the ability to explain their activities in lay language. The jury consisted of the patient advisory committee members.

The winner of the competition was Pieter-Jan Martens, a PhD student at KU Leuven in Belgium. In his winning video, he presents a study in which two potential diabetes treatments that work in different ways are combined. Research in mice suggests that the combination of both therapies is safe and 3-4 times more effective than either of the treatments on their own.

Second prize went to Jessica Hill of the University of Exeter in the UK, and third prize went to Gisele Silva Boos of the Helmholtz Zentrum Munich in Germany.

The project hopes that the award will encourage starting scientists to showcase their work and to name the challenges they face in diabetes research.

Find out more

INNODIA kicks off clinical trials for type 1 diabetes treatments

IMI’s INNODIA and INNODIA HARVEST projects have launched four clinical trials designed to test treatments to prevent and cure type 1 diabetes. The trials focus on children, adolescents and adults aged from 5 to 45 years who have been diagnosed within the past 6 weeks.###

The first trial, MELD-ATG, was launched by INNODIA in December 2020, and investigates whether ATG (anti-thymocyte globulin) antibodies targeting the immune system can stop the body´s immune system from attacking the cells in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin. Insulin is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. Three further clinical trials have since been launched by INNODIA’s sister project, INNODIA HARVEST. The trials all follow the INNODIA master protocol for clinical trials, which received the green light from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) earlier in 2020.

‘This is a very important moment for us,’ said INNODIA coordinator Professor Chantal Mathieu of University Hospital Leuven. ‘We bring our INNODIA network to the next level, by going from biomarker discovery to clinical interventions.’

All the trials focus on people who have just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes because research has shown that in the newly-diagnosed, half of the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin are still working (this is known as the honeymoon). The hope is that by treating these people with drugs designed to protect these cells, they will retain the ability to produce their own insulin, and be spared the need to inject themselves with insulin.

‘With a strong community of people with type 1 diabetes and big pharma companies involved, we have high hopes to discover products that will increase the quality of life for people living with type one diabetes,’ said Dr Olivier Arnaud, a member of INNODIA’s Patient Advisory Committee (PAC).

Find out more


  Show participants on map
EFPIA companies
  • Eli Lilly And Company LTD, Basingstoke, United Kingdom
  • Glaxosmithkline Research And Development LTD., Brentford, Middlesex, United Kingdom
  • Imcyse SA, Sart Tilman, Belgium
  • Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland
  • Novo Nordisk A/S, Bagsvaerd, Denmark
  • Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GMBH, Frankfurt / Main, Germany
Universities, research organisations, public bodies, non-profit groups
  • Academisch Ziekenhuis Leiden, Leiden, Netherlands
  • Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom
  • Centre Hospitalier De Luxembourg, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  • Hannoversche Kinderheilanstalt, Hannover, Germany
  • Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen Deutsches Forschungszentrum Fuer Gesundheit Und Umwelt GMBH, Neuherberg, Germany
  • Institut National De La Sante Et De La Recherche Medicale, Paris, France
  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • King'S College London, London, United Kingdom
  • Kobenhavns Universitet, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Lunds Universitet, Lund, Sweden
  • Medizinische Universitat Graz, Graz, Austria
  • Oslo Universitetssykehus Hf, Oslo, Norway
  • Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu, Rome, Italy
  • Oulun Yliopisto, Oulu, Finland
  • Region Hovedstaden, Hilleroed, Denmark
  • Slaski Uniwersytet Medyczny W Katowicach, Katowice, Poland
  • Stichting Radboud Universitair Medisch Centrum, Nijmegen, Netherlands
  • Technische Universitaet Dresden, Dresden, Germany
  • The University Of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
  • Universita Degli Studi Di Siena, Siena, Italy
  • Universita Degli Studi Gabriele D'Annunzio Di Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy
  • Universita Di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
  • Universita Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milano, Italy
  • Universitaet Ulm, Ulm, Germany
  • University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • University of Helsinki, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
  • University of Turku, Turku, Finland
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles, Belgium
  • Univerza V Ljubljani, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-sized companies (<€500 m turnover)
  • Human Cell Design, Toulouse, France
Associated partners
  • Jdrf International, New York, United States
  • The Leona M. And Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, New York, United States
Third parties
  • Region Skane, Kristianstad, Sweden

NameEU funding in €
Academisch Ziekenhuis Leiden252 500
Cardiff University104 948
Centre Hospitalier De Luxembourg138 750
Hannoversche Kinderheilanstalt186 000
Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen Deutsches Forschungszentrum Fuer Gesundheit Und Umwelt GMBH51 250
Human Cell Design38 750
Institut National De La Sante Et De La Recherche Medicale302 500
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven641 503
King'S College London238 750
Kobenhavns Universitet155 950
Lunds Universitet1 250
Medizinische Universitat Graz740 570
Oslo Universitetssykehus Hf63 750
Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu1 250
Oulun Yliopisto63 750
Region Hovedstaden127 500
Slaski Uniwersytet Medyczny W Katowicach63 750
Stichting Radboud Universitair Medisch Centrum71 650
Technische Universitaet Dresden253 750
The University Of Exeter63 750
Universita Degli Studi Di Siena188 750
Universita Di Pisa126 250
Universita Vita-Salute San Raffaele63 750
Universitaet Ulm38 750
University of Cambridge427 500
University of Helsinki450 310
University of Oxford88 750
University of Turku277 500
Université Libre de Bruxelles636 875
Univerza V Ljubljani76 250
Third parties
NameFunding in €
Region Skane62 500
Total Cost5 999 056