Project information

Trialling the artificial pancreas

We are on the brink of having one small device that will greatly reduce the burden of type 1 diabetes.

JDRF is funding Dr Hovorka’s artificial pancreas project to deliver a device that will improve the management of blood glucose levels, day and night, with less worry and better results.

September 2015 - July 2018

Charity information: JDRF

JDRF logo
  • Need


    Type 1 diabetes can make the most ordinary things in life, difficult.

    It is a chronic, life-threatening autoimmune condition that destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

    Every day, 400,000 people in the UK must walk a tightrope to delicately balance the glucose levels in their blood. Finger prick testing, carb counting, calculating the correct dose of insulin, injecting, testing again… For children and adults alike, there is never a day off from this challenging condition.


    Dr Hovorka has developed an artificial pancreas which takes on part of the role of a human pancreas to automate the delivery of basal insulin and give people with type 1, safe and consistent blood glucose control.

    JDRF is funding a new trial to evaluate the device when used by children and adults, day and night in the home.

    The trial will build evidence to show this technology improves life for people with type 1, bringing this pioneering treatment another step closer.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Trial the artificial pancreas system in a larger group of people


    » Trial the artificial pancreas in 40 children and 40 adults to evaluate safety and efficacy when used in a home setting, 24 hours a day.

    What success will look like

    If successful, this project will show the device is safe, improves glucose control and positively impacts the lives of people with type 1. Results will be published on completion.

  • Impact


    By showing the device successfully helps manage type 1, the trial will broaden current evidence that this technology improves life for people with the condition.
    Clinical trials amongst wider groups of people, over longer periods of time, and in real life settings are essential to advance this prototype to a treatment.
    In the future we hope to see a device available on the NHS that offers freedom from the worry of nightly hypos and frequent testing and protects users against future complications


    A risk associated with any medical research project is the loss of key staff. If this occurred there would be a short delay in the running of projects whilst the team recruited new members of staff to the project. Appropriate procedures are in place to manage other risks.


    Dr. Hovorka is required to produce annual progress and final research reports to JDRF. The reports are translated by our research communication team who make them accessible to a lay audience. We then share this information on our website & in our supporter magazine Type 1 Discovery.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £100,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £100,000 Clinical research trial Fund a clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy, safety and usage of the closed loop artificial pan
  • Background


    This project is taking place at the world-renowned University Of Cambridge, where Dr Roman Hovorka leads a team of researchers developing and testing an artificial pancreas.


    Dr. Hovorka is a member of JDRF’s Artificial Pancreas Consortium which brings together expert diabetologists, mathematicians and academics from top research institutions around the world, and device manufacturers, to advance the field of artificial pancreas research.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are JDRF, the type 1 diabetes charity and the leading global funder of type 1 research. For over 30 years we have been advancing research to cure, treat and prevent this challenging condition.
    In 2006 we formed the JDRF Artificial Pancreas Consortium, bringing together researchers and experts from around the world, to automate the delivery of insulin by ‘closing the loop’. Today we're seeing fantastic advances being built on the foundations laid by JDRF in this exciting field of research.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Roman Hovorka

    A world leader in his field, Dr Hovorka has dedicated his expertise to developing an artificial pancreas that will reduce the burden of type 1.

    Rachel Connor

    JDRF’s Director of Research Partnerships builds connection with research organisations and funders to make the best use of funding & optimise success.

Dr Hovorka explains how his artificial pancreas works

Without JDRF supporters, we would not be able to secure the funding needed to carry out the research work. You really make the difference.

Dr Roman Hovorka