Australian Centre for Accelerating Diabetes Innovations (ACADI) funded by MRFF

Established by MTPConnect’s Targeted Transition Research Accelerator (TTRA) Initiative, the Australian Centre for Accelerating Diabetes Innovations (ACADI) Research Centre has been awarded $10 million over four years from the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund, combined with $13.3 million of cash and in-kind funding from its partners, bringing the total centre funding to $23.3 million.

Assoc Prof Elif Ekinci

Associate Professor Ekinci is the Director of ACADI, that brings together 70 partners and teams of researchers and advisors across the country to deliver innovative projects aimed to prevent and treat serious and life-threatening complications of diabetes.

Around 1.8 million Australians live with diabetes according to Diabetes Australia, with one person contracting the disease every five minutes. Globally, 500 million people are estimated to have the illness.

Diabetes contributed to about 16,700 deaths in 2018 (10.5 percent of all deaths) according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) National Mortality Database. Diabetes was the underlying cause of death in around 4,700 deaths (28 percent of diabetes deaths). []

“Many people with diabetes end up with acute and chronic complications of diabetes, which have a significant impact on their quality of life,” explained Associate Professor Elif Ekinci, from the Melbourne Medical School.

“As a clinician researcher, I see daily the first-hand the impact of diabetes related kidney disease, diabetes foot ulcers, neuropathy and amputations and life-threatening diabetes emergencies on people living with diabetes and their families.”

Co-contributions from academic and industry partners will allow ACADI to progress 18 research projects addressing diabetic kidney disease, peripheral neuropathy and diabetic foot syndrome, short-term complications of hypoglycaemia, hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar syndrome (HHS) and ketoacidosis.

These projects will lead to new health treatments therapeutics, devices, diagnostics, digital  health and behavioural interventions, and will embed these innovations into clinical practice using leading-edge methods and models from implementation science, with an ongoing evaluation program to enable continuous enhancement of implementation strategies.

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Florienne Loder