Lokelma label update approved in EU for patients with hyperkalaemia on stable haemodialysis

The European Commission (EC) has approved a dosing and administration label update in the EU for AstraZeneca’s Lokelma (sodium zirconium cyclosilicate) to include patients with hyperkalaemia on stable haemodialysis.

The approval by the EC was based on data from the Phase IIIb DIALIZE trial, the first ever randomised, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate a potassium binder in patients on stable haemodialysis. The trial showed sustained potassium control pre-dialysis for more patients receiving Lokelma, compared with placebo.1

Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, said: “More than 300,000 patients with end-stage renal disease in Europe are undergoing haemodialysis and are at risk of experiencing high potassium levels. This label update provides important guidance to manage hyperkalaemia, a condition which can be life-threatening in these patients if left untreated.”

In DIALIZE, 41% of patients receiving Lokelma maintained pre-dialysis potassium levels on at least three out of four dialysis treatments after the long interdialytic interval and did not require urgent rescue therapy. This compared with 1% of patients receiving placebo, making it a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement. The safety profile of Lokelma observed in DIALIZE was consistent with previous trials.1

Lokelma is a highly selective, oral potassium-removing agent currently approved in the US, EU, Canada, China, Russia and Japan for the treatment of hyperkalaemia. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a label update in the US to include a dosing regimen specifically to treat hyperkalaemia in patients with end-stage renal disease on chronic haemodialysis.


Hyperkalaemia is characterised by high levels of potassium in the blood, generally defined as greater than 5mmol/L.2 Many people living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have hyperkalaemia despite being on haemodialysis and often experience fluctuations in their potassium levels.3,4 In Europe, approximately 300,000 patients with end-stage renal disease are undergoing haemodialysis, and more than 500,000 patients in the US are living with dialysis-dependent end-stage renal disease.5,6 Despite adequate haemodialysis, up to 25% of patients have serum potassium >5.5 mmol/L.7 Patients with high variability in potassium levels between dialysis sessions are at significant risk of arrhythmias, which can lead to cardiac arrest.3 Worldwide, there are an estimated 700 million and 64 million people living with CKD and HF respectively with hyperkalaemia occurring in 23 to 47% of patients with advanced CKD and/or HF.8-10


DIALIZE is the first ever randomised, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate a potassium binder in patients on stable haemodialysis. The Phase IIIb, multicentre, double-blinded trial investigated the efficacy and safety of Lokelma versus placebo in 196 patients on haemodialysis with hyperkalaemia. Patients were randomised to receive Lokelma or placebo once daily on non-dialysis days for a treatment period of eight weeks. This included a four-week dose adjustment phase (starting at 5g and titrated weekly in 5g increments up to a maximum of 15g) and a four-week evaluation phase on stable dose.

The full results of the DIALIZE trial were published in September 2019 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.


Lokelma (sodium zirconium cyclosilicate) is an insoluble, non-absorbed sodium zirconium silicate, formulated as a powder for oral suspension, that acts as a highly selective potassium-removing medicine. It is administered orally, is odourless, tasteless and stable at room temperature. It has been studied in three double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials and in one 12-month open label clinical trial in patients with hyperkalaemia.

AstraZeneca in CVRM

Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism (CVRM) together forms one of AstraZeneca’s three therapy areas and is a key growth driver for the Company. By following the science to understand more clearly the underlying links between the heart, kidneys and pancreas, AstraZeneca is investing in a portfolio of medicines to protect organs and improve outcomes by slowing disease progression, reducing risks and tackling comorbidities. The Company’s ambition is to modify or halt the natural course of CVRM diseases and potentially regenerate organs and restore function, by continuing to deliver transformative science that improves treatment practices and cardiovascular health for millions of patients worldwide.


AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/NYSE: AZN) is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolism, and Respiratory and Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. Please visit astrazeneca.com and follow the Company on Twitter @AstraZeneca.


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