Last fall, T1D Exchange held its 1st Annual Diabetes Innovation Challenge, an open competition seeking novel treatments for diabetes. The competition introduced our partners and collaborators from industry, academic research, other diabetes nonprofits, clinical partners and patient/caregiver community to over 60 groundbreaking diabetes therapies or technologies currently in development.
One of these applicants, UK-based Polyphotonix, presented an innovative, non-invasive light therapy sleep mask as an approved treatment for diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema—some of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. Currently, the standard treatment for worsening diabetes retinopathy is invasive—surgery or laser surgery, with moderate success.
Polyphotonix was ultimately chosen as one of seven winners of the Diabetes Innovation Challenge for its innovative, non-invasive approach. The financial award helped drive the development of the sleep mask, called Noctura 400, forward, and today, this alternative, affordable sleep mask is on its way to being offered in the United States.
One Patient’s Perspective Using the Polyphotonix Solution
Patrick McCrosson, who has lived with type 1 diabetes for over 40 years and retinopathy for 15, is one of at least five Americans who travelled to the UK to obtain this mask. Patrick purchased his mask just outside London in 2016 and was trained in how to use it from a clinical team. Since using it, he has seen an immediate reduction in his retinopathy.
“I’m so grateful for this mask, as I’ve avoided lasers and even injections,” said McCrosson.
T1D Exchange held our inaugural Diabetes Innovation Challenge so that we could seek out and present promising innovations in type 1 diabetes to our network of experts. Our goal is to help innovative organizations make key connections that may help them advance to the next stage of development. It’s just another way we’re seeking to accelerate treatments and solutions to improve outcomes in type 1 diabetes.
We applaud the efforts of Polyphotonix, who are looking a little differently at treating diabetes retinopathy. Today, they have submitted an application to the FDA and is awaiting a decision on U.S. distribution.
To learn more about Polyphotonix and the Noctura 400 sleep mask, visit their website at noctura.com.