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The Sodium Glucose Co-Transport-2 Inhibition Diabetes and Kidney Function Loss in Type 1 Diabetes (SUGARNSALT) research project

There is a huge unmet need for people with type 1 diabetes. These patients have roughly a decade shorter lifespan and their risk of developing kidney disease during their lifetime is something in the order of 30 to 40%. Yet, the treatment regimen we provide today is the same as it has been for well over 20 years: insulin and control of blood pressure. None of the innovations available to those with type 2 diabetes have been approved for patients with type 1 diabetes.

- Dr. David Cherney, SUGARNSALT Principal Investigator

The Sodium Glucose Co-Transport-2 Inhibition Diabetes and Kidney Function Loss in Type 1 Diabetes (SUGARNSALT) is one of eight major research projects funded in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) ground-breaking initiative 100 Years of Insulin: Accelerating Canadian Discoveries to Defeat Diabetes, in the competition Team Grant: Diabetes Mechanisms and Translational Solutions. The SUGARNSALT research project will study the effect of sodium glucose co-transport-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors for the prevention of kidney failure in people with type 1 diabetes. 

Purpose of the Study

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure amongst Canadians, and it is estimated that 11 million of them are currently living with some form of diabetic disease.  Current therapies include SGLT2 inhibitors which have been observed to have a high effectiveness rate in delaying and/or preventing the need for dialysis in patients with type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, very little experimental data is available to help individuals with type 1 diabetes. This is where the SUGARNSALT investigations will place their focus.

In sum, the research project will include:

  • A pilot study composed of a series of clinical trials that will test the risks and benefits of introducing SGLT2 inhibitors in treatment therapies for people with type 1 diabetes over a two-year period. Concurrently, a patient preference study will evaluate how patients judge the benefits versus risks of their treatment. 
  • An analysis of Danish health records to assess the changes in the risk of kidney disease in Danish patients with type 1 diabetes who were also treated with SLGT2 inhibitors.
  • A mathematical model based on real-world data that will evaluate the treatment benefits of SGLT2 inhibitors in terms of their ability to decrease the risk of kidney failure, the need for dialysis or transplant, and the risk of heart failure. 

Investigators

The SUGARNSALT project involves multiple investigators from various fields and dispersed throughout the country, some of which are previous members of our KRESCENT program.

  • Dr. David Cherney – SUGARNSALT Principal Investigator, University Health Network
  • Dr. David J.T. Campbell – SUGARNSALT Co-Principal Investigator, University of Calgary
  • Dr. Anita Layton – SUGARNSALT Co-Principal Investigator, University of Waterloo
  • Dr. Bruch Perkins – Co-Principal Investigator, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute
  • Dr. Sean Barbour – SUGARNSALT Co-Investigator, University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Tony Lam – SUGARNSALT Co-Investigator, University Health Network (Toronto)
  • Dr. Adeera Levin – SUGARNSALT Co-Investigator, University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Erik Lovblom – SUGARNSALT Co-Investigator, Sinai Health System
  • Dr. Istvan Mucsi – SUGARNSALT Co-Investigator, University of Toronto
  • Dr. Rémi Rabasa-Lhoret – SUGARNSALT Co-Investigator, CIRANO Group, University of Montreal
  • Dr. Valeria Rac – SUGARNSALT Co-Investigator, Toronto General Research Institute
  • Dr. Mehrshad Sadria – SUGARNSALT Co-Investigator, University of Waterloo
  • Dr. Peter Alexander Senior – SUGARNSALT Co-Investigator, University of Alberta
  • Dr. Ronald Sigal – SUGARNSALT Co-Investigator, Foothills Medical Centre
  • Dr. Vikas Srinivasan Sridhar – SUGARNSALT Co-Investigator, University Health Network
  • Dr. Aleksandra Vukobradovic – SUGARNSALT Co-Investigator, Toronto General Research Institute

Funding and Partners

The Kidney Foundation is committed to supporting the SUGARNSALT research project by raising  $1 million in funding over five years with its End Diabetic Kidney Disease campaign. This investment will be matched by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), with additional funding from JDRF Canada, Diabetes Canada and Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé. 

We are thankful to the many partners who have also decided to join us in this mission and invest in its goal, including :

  • Astra Zeneca
  • The Maker Family (Bobby, Vinny, Karanpaul and Charanpaul)
  • Bayer

Find out more by visiting our End Diabetic Kidney Disease campaign page.

“The Kidney Foundation is proud to be part of this significant investment and support talented researchers and allied health care professionals who will address the complex kidney disease-diabetes relationship. Through improved intervention strategies and treatment options, diabetes does not have to be the leading cause of kidney failure.”

– Elizabeth Myles, National Executive Director, The Kidney Foundation of Canada.