JDRF announces Type 1 diabetes treatment competition winners
NEW YORK — An organization focused on Type 1 diabetes research announced Monday the winners of a competition to find new ways to treat the disease.
The organization, JDRF, formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, announced the winners of what it called the first-ever public challenge to find new theoretical ideas to approach the discovery and development of glucose-responsive insulin treatments. The treatment would deliver a price amount of insulin needed in response to circulating blood glucose levels 24 hours a day, reducing or eliminating high and low blood sugars and much of the daily burden of managing diabetes.
The winners included one individual and two teams of scientists: Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Light White Innovation Technology owner Luz Blanco; University of Texas at Austin doctoral fellow Chen Xi and research partner Feng Siqian; and California Institute of Technology graduate students Mohsen Chitsaz and Alborz Mahdavi.
JDRF launched the competition a year ago under a partnership with open innovation and crowdsourcing company InnoCentive a year ago. The two selected for final review 23 applicants out of a total of 63. Three of the ideas were selected to receive the Agnes Varis GRI Grand Challenge Prize, made possible with support from the Agnes Varis Charitable Trust. JDRF said the next GRI challenge will be a "discovery phase," which will build on the winning ideas, providing experimental design and validation of the potential GRI drugs, culminating in pre-clinical proof-of-concept studies with timelines and budget estimates.
"Out-of-the-box thinking and crowdsourcing have proven to be valuable tools in research," JDRF treat therapies senior director Sanjoy Dutta said. "We look forward to beginning early discovery research based on the original ideas of these talented prize winners."
Balance Rewards makes official debut over weekend at Walgreens, Duane Reade stores
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens over the weekend officially launched its customer loyalty program, which since Sept. 6 has garnered more than 1 million customers during an online-only, early-enrollment period.
“Our loyalty program is distinctive,” stated Graham Atkinson, Walgreens SVP and chief customer experience officer. “This comprehensive rewards program is one of Walgreens largest and most important programs in company history."
Balance Rewards offers three key benefits, all customized for the consumer:
Easy to Join: Customers have easy, multichannel access to join in stores at checkout or any photo kiosk, online at Walgreens.com/balance and with their mobile device through the Walgreens app or by scanning the program QR code found on signs in the stores. Savings and points can be earned when members either show their Balance Rewards card, provide their telephone number or scan their mobile rewards card from the app;
Instant Points: Customers can instantly earn and redeem points for thousands of items in store and online. Customers will also earn points for prescriptions where state law allows, and for purchases and activities that help them stay well, like the Walk with Walgreens program and immunizations; and
Endless Rewards: Customers can choose how and when to redeem their points. Points will not expire as long as customers remain active by shopping at Walgreens at least once every six months and redeem their points within three years.
“Walgreens designed Balance Rewards entirely for the consumer,” said Adam Holyk, Walgreens divisional VP loyalty and consumer insights. “We have utilized the latest technologies in loyalty programs to make it easier for customers to save, earn and redeem points. Balance Rewards also strengthens our ability to better understand our customers, meet their changing needs and treat our best customers even better. Customers will see more customized stores with improved product mixes and rewards on popular products."
Hy-Vee, Dole donate salad bars to Iowa schools
BOONE, Iowa — A supermarket chain and a fruit and vegetable company are donating salad bars to schools to promote health eating.
Hy-Vee and Dole announced the donation of five salad bars in the central Iowa area at the United Community School in Boone, as well as schools in Centerville, Fairfield, Denison and Shenandoah. The donation was part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, which has donated more than 1,440 salad bars to schools across the country.
"Education and experience go hand-in-hand in the development of good eating habits," Hy-Vee assistant VP produce operations Jason Sheridan said. "When children have the chance to sample fresh fruits and vegetables at school, they’re more likely to ask for them at home. This is a wonderful example of how schools and businesses can work together to create healthier communities."