AstraZeneca to collaborate with the University of Michigan to advance treatments for Chronic Kidney Disease

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

AstraZeneca today announced a two-year research collaboration with the University of Michigan to advance the treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD) through the improved understanding of the disease. The collaboration will tackle the challenging area of identifying novel targets for the treatment of CKD, focusing on the use of patient tissue and validation of preclinical models.

CKD is a condition in which the kidneys are damaged and cannot filter blood effectively, leading to waste from the blood remaining in the body, which may cause other health problems such as cardiovascular disease, heart attack or stroke. Most patients progress eventually to end-stage renal disease and require haemodialysis and kidney transplantation.

Under the terms of the collaboration, scientists from AstraZeneca’s laboratories in Mölndal, Sweden, will work with a team of investigators at the University of Michigan led by Matthias Kretzler, Professor of Internal Medicine and Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics to:

  • examine databases of biopsies from CKD patients to identify biological targets and pathways which predict disease progression
  • create improved animal models that better reflect the human disease condition
  • identify biomarkers in patient samples which are associated with disease progression and response to treatment

Marcus Schindler, Head of the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases (CVMD) Innovative Medicines Unit, AstraZeneca, said: “Current approaches to treating the complications of diabetes mean that patients need expensive treatment options which are often limited, so there is a significant unmet medical need. Through this collaboration, we will generate increasing evidence that we are pursuing the right therapeutic targets to treat CKD which will shift clinical therapy to a more focused patient population, giving a better response to treatments and slowing disease progression.”

Diabetes is now the leading cause of CKD1. Professor Kretzler said: “The collaboration builds on the promise of combining basic university research, which can uncover specific targets for precise-acting drugs, with drug compound development by AstraZeneca. Steered by science, we will examine new approaches to treating the damage that diabetes inflicts on the kidneys of millions of people.”

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS

About the University of Michigan

The University of Michigan Health System creates the future of health care through medical education, patient care and research. UMHS is a community of more than 26,000 faculty, staff, trainees and volunteers, including 3 hospitals and 40 outpatient locations. The University of Michigan Medical School consistently ranks among the top research universities in the United States and world. With one of the nation's largest research budgets, The University of Michigan finds new ways to understand, diagnose, treat, manage and prevent many human diseases.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit: www.astrazeneca.com.

CONTACTS

Media Enquiries    
Esra Erkal-Paler (UK/Global) +44 20 7604 8030
Karen Birmingham (UK/Global) +44 20 7604 8120

 

Reference

  1. Palmer S. et al (2015) Comparative efficacy and safety of blood pressure-lowering agents in adults with diabetes and kidney disease: a network meta-analysis. The Lancet. 385, 9982; 2047–2056.