DIRECT - Innovative Medicines Initiative:
DIabetes REsearCh on patient straTification

People with Type 2 diabetes can have a very different experience. For example, some people’s blood sugar levels will get worse over time and some people’s blood sugar levels will remain the same. Some people experience side effects with common drugs used to treat Type 2 diabetes, while others don’t. Also some people will respond very well to certain treatments but other people respond badly.

The DIRECT project is intended to explore some of these differences, to work out why people don’t react in the same way. We will be able to see whether people with Type 2 diabetes are similar and if they have the same experience or not. This will help predict how other people might respond.

The studies hope to identify if there are signals, called ‘biomarkers’, which might flag whether particular patients belong to different sub-groups. These sub-groups are based on each patient’s experience of Type 2 diabetes. These biomarkers will be used to help diagnose people with Type 2 diabetes, and could be used to choose the best treatment pathways for them.

The first stage of the project is split into two areas:

  • Studying the way that Type 2 diabetes progresses in some patients.
  • Studying the way that different patients respond to different treatments.

The biomarkers found in these studies, will be tested further in the second stage of the project. In the second stage we want to see whether these biomarkers really are helpful in diagnosing people with Type 2 diabetes and in developing better treatments in the future.

The research is being funded by the European Union, with funding from some leading pharmaceutical companies. Together, this group of European researchers and scientists is called the DIRECT Consortium. DIRECT is interested in learning about the risk factors for diabetes and how people with diabetes begin their diabetes journey or respond to treatment.

For more information, and for updates on how the research is progressing please follow us on Twitter: @DIRECTdiabetes and visit our Facebook page: Direct Project.