A new partnership aims to find prognostic biomarkers for chronic kidney disease (CKD) to develop a blood test to predict the rate of disease progression.
The partners include The Centre of Excellence for the Prevention of Organ Failure (PROOF Centre) – a developer of blood tests to predict, diagnose, manage, and treat heart, lung, and kidney disease; AstraZeneca – a global biopharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes prescription medicine for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, autoimmune, oncology, and neuroscience diseases; and the Canadian Study of Prediction of Death, Dialysis and Interim Cardiovascular Events (CanPREDDICT) – a study designed to improve the understanding of determinants of renal and cardiovascular (CV) disease progression in patients with CKD.
“We are pleased to partner with AstraZeneca and CanPREDDICT in an exciting effort to develop new biomarker tools that will have a major impact in drug development and patient care,” Canada-based PROOF Centre CEO Dr. Bruce McManus said in a press release.
Researchers at PROOF Centre and AstraZeneca, based in the United Kingdom, will leverage the large patient cohort and comprehensive CanPREDDICT clinical data for the discovery phase of the study.
The PROOF Centre will be responsible for the front-end experimental design in statistical and biological assessment, together with an interdisciplinary team of clinical, computational, technical and biological experts, who will use the Centre’s ‘omics’ biomarker development pipeline to identify genomic (genes) and proteomic (proteins) biomarkers that can discern patients with rapid vs. slow CKD progression.
“If developed as a blood test that corresponds to different patient trajectories, it will offer clinicians a better way of knowing which patients need more intensive medical attention and management,” said Dr. Adeera Levin, chief of the UBC Division of Nephrology and lead CanPREDDICT investigator.
CKD is a chronic disease estimated to affect nearly 3 million Canadians and 26 million Americans, with rates expected to increase due to diabetes and hypertension. Identifying the risk factors is a major challenge in research, drug development, and clinical care. Predicting how a patient will progress is very important so that doctors can determine the best course of treatment for each patient.
The CanPREDDICT trial has so far enrolled 2,546 patients from rural, urban, academic, and non-academic centers throughout Canada. All patients were followed in the first three years at six-month intervals and then annually for up to five years. The trial’s primary objective is to clarify the links between traditional and innovative biomarkers in the prediction of specific renal and cardiovascular events and death in CKD patients managed by nephrologists.
The collaboration will use this important information to better understand biological variations in outcomes and hopefully develop clinical prediction models, which may lead to new treatments.
Researchers believe this test has the potential to not only benefit patients but also research in the field along with drug development.
“This collaboration will lay the groundwork for improving clinical care for CKD patients by expediting the drug-development process, reducing disease-related uncertainty for patients and their physicians, and allowing for trajectory-specific management strategies — ultimately reducing healthcare costs and improving patients’ quality of life,” McManus said.