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Approved Research

The Ro5 chronic kidney disease clinical trial support programme

Principal Investigator: Dr Povilas Norvaisas
Approved Research ID: 76966
Approval date: December 8th 2021

Lay summary

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the 12th leading cause of death worldwide with 1.2 million annual deaths. It is marked by a progressive and irreversible loss of kidney function, which in its late stage, leads to the kidneys' near total inability to filter toxic waste products from the blood. CKD develops under distinct circumstances in different individuals and in many cases it stems from other primary conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. The extreme variety of patient conditions with which CKD is entangled makes it a "complex" disease that is hard to study, track and cure.

The complex nature of CKD hinders the drug development effort. A number of CKD drug discovery programmes are taking place, however, CKD clinical trials are at a risk of failure due to the patient complications related to CKD comorbidities. Notably, the BEACON clinical trial has failed due to unanticipated heart attack in some of the patients. In the future, patient lives could be saved and trial failure could be avoided if we know more about the complex interaction between CKD and its comorbidities, and can identify the patients at a risk of experiencing complications and poor treatment outcomes.

In this research project we are aiming to assess the patient risk of experiencing complications and poor treatment outcomes in ongoing CKD clinical trials. To do this we will use the clinical and genetic data available from UK BioBank together with the data from previous clinical trials in CKD. We will identify profiles of patients that are most likely to respond positively to the treatment as well as those that are at risk of experiencing complications. We will also identify genetic variants specific to these patient profiles. All of this information will then be used in assessing patient risk in ongoing clinical trials in the period of upcoming 3 years.

We hope that the results of our work will save patient lives and prevent patient complications in the ongoing and future CKD clinical trials. Our analyses will contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between CKD and other conditions as well as provide ways of identifying patients that are most and less likely to benefit from a particular treatment. We will share our results in scientific publications and conferences.