We are continuing our partnership with NIHR, co-funding for a second time through the Programme Grant for Applied Research scheme, to fund research to help more people with type 2 diabetes go into and stay in remission.
Around 3.9 million people in the UK have a diagnosis of diabetes, with around 1 million people living with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. By 2025, it’s expected that over 5.3 million people in the UK will be living with the condition. It’s crucial we find new ways to treat type 2 diabetes.
The results of the DiRECT trial were a ground-breaking moment in type 2 diabetes care. The project, led by Professors Mike Lean and Roy Taylor, showed for the first time that remission was possible through a low-calorie weight management programme. Over half the people on the trial were able to come off their medications and maintain healthy blood sugar levels after one year on the programme, with over a third of people still in remission after two years.
And thanks to these results, NHS England is now offering a DIRECT-inspired low-calorie, weight management programme to help more people across the country put their type 2 diabetes into remission. We know that remission is closely linked with weight loss. But we also know that losing weight and keeping it off can be challenging.
We listened to our Diabetes Research Steering Groups, which bring together people living with diabetes, healthcare professionals and researchers, who highlighted the need for more research into ways people can be supported to lose weight and keep it off.
That’s why we are partnering with the NIHR to fund research to support more people on their remission journey.
Together we are putting out a call for research that will help to improve the health and wellbeing of people living with type 2 diabetes or with type 2 diabetes in remission. This research might look at different diet approaches for remission, ways behavioural therapies can be used to help maintain weight loss and remission, or the combining of nutritional and pharmaceutical approaches to support remission.
Anna Morris is our Assistant Director of Research. She said:
“We are delighted to be partnering again with the NIHR and the Programme Grants for Applied Research scheme. Showing that remission from type 2 diabetes is possible for some has changed the way we think about the condition. This new partnership will help us to move towards making remission a reality for as many people as possible.
Rajinder Flora, Assistant Director for NIHR's Programme Grants for Applied Research scheme, said:
"We're excited to be partnering again with Diabetes UK - the COVID crisis has highlighted just how important research is for the health and wealth of the nation, and by working together to help more people with type 2 diabetes go into remission we hope we can make a big difference in people's lives and help to make our healthcare system more effective too."
Applications for the NIHR and Diabetes UK remission support funding are open from 1st October, and will close on 25th November. You can also find out more information in the NIHR’s project brief.