Rare Daily Staff

The patient advocacy organization Congenital Hyperinsulinism International said it will offer a $70,000 pilot research grant intended to generate new insights into hyperinsulinism hyperammonemia (HIHA) with the goal of adding to a body of knowledge leading to new treatments.

HIHA is the second most common form of HI. It is caused by a defective GDH (glutamate dehydrogenase) gene. GDH is an enzyme which plays an important role in amino acid metabolism. People with HIHA secrete too much insulin which causes hypoglycemia, especially after a protein rich intake.

People with HIHA also have high ammonia levels in their blood, and often have epilepsy and other neurological issues that are thought to stem from the change in the GDH gene. The only currently available treatment for HIHA helps in the management of hypoglycemia but leaves the high ammonia levels untreated.

CHI in April will make a one-year award of $70,000 for an innovative, preclinical, or clinical study that has the potential to lead to a better HIHA treatment, a cure for HIHA, or improve the quality of life for people affected by HIHA.

The funding opportunity is open to independent researchers, tenure-track faculty, non-tenure-track faculty or staff, or an equivalent level at a research institution or at a biotechnology/ pharmaceutical company.