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Helmsley Charitable Trust Announces a Public T1D Exercise Dataset and Request for Proposals

Request for Proposals (RFP) to Promote Research and Solutions for People with Type 1 Diabetes to Safely Incorporate Exercise into Their Daily Lives

New York, September 28,2022: The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Type 1 Diabetes Program is launching an initiative to support novel, real-world solutions to help people with type 1 diabetes exercise safely and to improve their quality of life. Helmsley collaborated with the Jaeb Center for Health Research (JCHR) and a group of investigators to conduct two large observational exercise studies in people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and is now making the data from the studies publicly available on the platform Vivli. To amplify its impact, Helmsley is also opening a request for proposals (RFP) for researchers, clinicians, and data scientists to analyze the data and test novel solutions in people with T1D.

Exercise can provide many health benefits including improved cardiovascular health, improved insulin sensitivity, and reduced diabetes-related complications. But for people with T1D it can increase the risk of hypo- or hyperglycemia in unpredictable ways. The effect of exercise on T1D and glucose levels is not well understood — it can vary within a person and between people and depend on variables such as type of exercise, previously administered insulin, meal timing and composition, and sleep. Furthermore, clinical guidelines for exercising with T1D are mostly based on small studies with controlled environments that are not always reflective of the complexities of real-world conditions. While new monitoring devices and insulin delivery systems may help, many challenges remain for people with T1D who wish to incorporate exercise safely and easily into their daily lives.

To help address knowledge gaps about the effect of exercise on T1D, Helmsley collaborated with the JCHR and a group of T1D experts lead by co-chairs Michael Riddell, Ph.D., of York University and Michael R. Rickels, M.D., M.S. of the University of Pennsylvania. The collaboration centered on two large observational exercise studies in people with T1D, one in adults (T1-DEXI) and one in children (T1-DEXIP). The data from these studies includes information about types of physical activity, heart rate, insulin use, CGM, diet, and genetics, from over 500 participants in the adult study, and 250 in the pediatric study. One of the major outputs of this effort is publicly available data sets.

“This study was designed to collect a variety of data around exercise that individuals with T1D could perform at home. The collaborative effort of our investigator group, our study participants, and our team at JCHR provides important new data, that will help us better understand how different exercise types, duration, and timing impact glucose response” said Robin Gal, Director of Research Operations and Senior Epidemiologist at JCHR, and Principal Investigator on the study. “Further, the data sets provide the opportunity to assess current exercise guidelines for people with T1D, and to optimize the use of current technologies such as automated insulin delivery systems.”

Recognizing that providing access to data can accelerate medical research, Helmsley partnered with Vivli — an independent, non-profit entity whose mission is to promote, coordinate, and facilitate clinical research data sharing through a global clinical research data platform — to share the T1-DEXI and T1-DEXIP data. “Vivli is delighted to facilitate access to these important data sets through a Helmsley grant, and to play a part in the advancement of T1D scientific research,” said Rebecca Li, Vivli Executive Director.

To further advance research in the field, Helmsley is also launching a Request for Proposals (RFP) to support groups to use the T1-DEXI and T1-DEXIP data. The RFP aims to fund projects that will improve the understanding of how exercise impacts T1D and that will provide people with T1D and their healthcare providers practical, real-world management solutions and clinical guidelines.

Deniz Dalton, Program Officer in T1D at Helmsley, said, “People with T1D face many burdensome challenges in their daily lives, including complex decisions around exercise, diet, monitoring glucose levels, and administering insulin. We are excited to make this data publicly available and to launch this RFP, to advance the understanding of how exercise affects glucose management, and ultimately to help create real-world solutions to challenges faced by people with T1D around exercise.”

Concept notes for the RFP are due by April 30, 2023, and full proposals will be invited for submission later in 2023. Researchers are encouraged to access the data with sufficient time to review in advance of the concept note submission deadline. For more information about the RFP and to access the data please visit this page.

About The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $3 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. The Helmsley Type 1 Diabetes Program is one of the largest private foundation funders of T1D in the nation focused on understanding the disease, developing better treatments, and improving care and access in the U.S and low- and middle- income countries. For more information on Helmsley and its programs, visit helmsleytrust.org.

Contact: Alison Carley, 212.953.2887, acarley@helmsleytrust.org