BOSTON, May 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- T1D Exchange, a patient-centered research organization dedicated to accelerating therapies and improving care for people with type 1 diabetes (T1D), today announced that CEO and co-founder Dana Ball will step down from his day-to-day leadership of the organization and focus on his role as a member of the Board of Directors.

A search for a new CEO is underway. Ball will continue to serve as CEO until a replacement is named.

Ball has been at the forefront of patient advocacy for 35 years. Prior to co-founding T1D Exchange, he served in leadership roles as Director of The Iacocca Foundation and as Program Director for The Leona M. & Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

“For many years, I was involved in facilitating funding to support research and other promising efforts for those with type 1 diabetes,” he said. “But despite our commitment, many of these efforts failed to reach their full potential and improve outcomes for people with diabetes as much as we had hoped.”

Aided by the gracious support of The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Ball and Marie Schiller, now head of the Lilly Cambridge Innovation Center, founded T1D Exchange. Their vision was to “bring a laser focus” to translating the promise of new advances and information technologies into better, more affordable solutions for people with type 1 diabetes.

According to Ball, T1D Exchange has made great strides in this effort as evidenced by its myriad of peer-reviewed publications, timely insights, robust network of stakeholders and the vibrant growth of the GLU patient community of more than 21,000 members.

“It’s time for someone else to take us to the next level, while I use my skills and connections in a new strategic role as a member of the Board,” said Ball.

Under Ball’s leadership, T1D Exchange has successfully connected scientists, clinicians, industry leaders, policy makers and, most poignantly, individuals living with the burden of type 1 diabetes. Additionally, in partnership with the Jaeb Center for Health Research and the Benaroya Research Institute, the organization has created and shared a wide array of resources with the type 1 diabetes community. These include an 81-site Clinic Network, a 32,000-member Clinic Registry, and a Biobank of more than 2,200 biological samples linked to patient data.

Now T1D Exchange is embarking on a new model to integrate these resources across a robust data platform to provide actionable, real-world data about people with type 1 diabetes that is driven by the needs of those touched by the disease. This includes leveraging the Biobank to proffer biological and medical data and the Registry to capture medical history and patient experience at a subset of Clinic Network sites.

“Dana has provided tremendous leadership in establishing T1D Exchange as the nexus of researchers, clinicians, patients and caregivers in the type 1 diabetes community,” said Board Chair Keith Ryan, president of Geneous Biomedical Advisors. “We are excited to build on this foundation as we evolve into a more real-world research organization.”

“It is amazing how much has been accomplished in the past nine years,” said T1D Exchange co-founder Marie Schiller. “Lilly is proud to be a partner with T1D Exchange in its data-based, patient-focused initiatives.”

A cornerstone of T1D Exchange’s recent efforts is the 2018 Diabetes Innovation Challenge, which promotes and incubates innovative solutions for diabetes and draws into the field the best and brightest entrepreneurs. The Challenge contributes a total of $250,000 in cash and in-kind support to researchers and early stage companies from around the world. This year’s winners will be announced on May 21, 2018.

“T1D Exchange has grown into a vibrant collaborative of scientific, clinical and industrial partners that is now looking to patients to drive the research, and research to drive the gains for patients,” said David Panzirer, a trustee of the Helmsley Charitable Trust. “We look forward to supporting T1D Exchange and its breakthrough efforts through this transition and in the future.”

About T1D Exchange
T1D Exchange is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to accelerating therapies and improving care for people affected by type 1 diabetes. T1D Exchange actively supports discovery and innovation—particularly at its earliest stages. At the same time, the organization asserts that evidence gathered in the “real world” can help bridge the gap between discovery in research settings and impact in people’s lives.

The T1D Exchange model uses cutting-edge research tools, methods and programs to gather biological samples from people living with type 1 diabetes, as well as evidence from their real-world experiences. The goal is to link patient samples, data and insight to all stages of research and development, advancing new therapies and better care for everyone affected by type 1 diabetes.

Contacts
For more information, please contact John Gillespie at (314) 708-9090 Jgillespie@T1DExchange.org or Rebecca Parkes, Chief Advancement Officer at (617) 892-6100 RParkes@T1DExchange.org.