First UK patients recruited to global chronic kidney disease study

June 2 2014

A global study investigating the safety and effectiveness of a new medicine to treat chronic kidney disease has recruited its first UK patient at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

Led by Dr Sandip Mitra, Consultant Nephrologist at Manchester Royal Infirmary and Senior Lecturer at The University of Manchester, the study will compare the use of an oral investigative medicine, against either standard treatment with erythropoietin (EPO) or a placebo (sugar pill).

Chronic kidney disease affects an estimated one in five men and one in four women between the ages of 65 and 74, and is associated with ageing. The disease, which is most common in people of South Asian origin and black people, occurs when the kidneys no longer function properly. The kidneys have a number of roles within the body, which include producing a substance called erythropoietin, which helps stimulate production of red blood cells.

Anaemia caused by the decreased synthesis of erythropoietin is common in patient with chronic kidney disease. The symptoms of anaemia include tiredness and breathlessness, and left untreated anaemia can contribute to the development of heart conditions.

The patients taking part in the study are receiving dialysis, and have been previously received injections of EPO to treat the anaemia associated with chronic kidney disease. Dr Sandip Mitra, who is also our Renal Specialty Lead, adds: “We’re delighted that our patients are amongst the first to be offered this study. The availability of an effective and safe oral medication for the treatment of anaemia associated with chronic kidney disease could be more convenient for patients and reduce the number of clinic visits required.”

Through the GlaxoSmithKline-sponsored study, the patients will be randomised to either continue taking EPO, or to receive the investigative medicine, or to receive the placebo. The study will last around eight months, and during this time patients will visit the clinic, generally at the same time as their regular dialysis sessions, to undertake observations and tests, which include an eye exam and electrocardiogram (ECG; to test how well the patient’s heart pumps blood).

The team also recruited the first UK patient to a pharmacogenetic study to better understand why people have different reactions to medicines in terms of their effectiveness and side effects

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