Clinical diagnostic company Renalytix AI has expanded its partnership with the Joslin Diabetes Center to integrate new biomarkers for kidney disease discovered by the center's researchers into the company’s KidneyIntelX platform.
KidneyIntelX is an in vitro diagnostic platform that assesses the risk of adverse kidney outcomes in patients with Type 2 diabetes and early-stage kidney disease. By examining a patient’s blood sample and medical history, the diagnostic generates a risk score for disease progression. Physicians can use the risk score to predict the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and to guide treatments to help prevent kidney-function decline.
The partnership with the Joslin Diabetes Center will add a panel of novel biomarkers to the indicators currently captured by KidneyIntelX. The company plans to study its effectiveness in conjunction with KidneyIntelX in the second half of 2021.
"These proprietary blood biomarkers have the potential to significantly expand the utility of the KidneyIntelX platform, particularly in understanding how to efficiently enroll and characterize appropriate participants in new drug validation trials," Fergus Fleming, the chief technology officer of Renalytix AI, said in a statement. "We believe they could also contribute to a better understanding of patient response to approved drug therapies."
The new biomarkers were discovered in the laboratory of Dr. Andrzej Krolewski, the senior investigator of genetics and epidemiology at the Joslin Diabetes Center. Krolewski and his team also developed the biomarkers sTNFR1 and sTNFR2 in diabetic kidney disease, which were integrated into KidneyIntelX in 2018.
WHY THIS MATTERS
More than 15% of U.S. adults, or 37 million people, currently have chronic kidney disease, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet as much as 90% of people with CKD don’t know they have it because it often has no symptoms and can go undetected until it has reached an advanced stage.
Early detection of kidney disease is critical for stopping or slowing its progression, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
THE LARGER TREND
Renalytix AI launched KidneyIntelX in 2019 after it landed $29 million in funding.
Following its launch, the company teamed up with AstraZeneca to assess the effectiveness of KidneyIntelX in improving utilization of kidney disease therapeutics among patients and to evaluate uptake and adherence to new potassium-binding agents in patients with chronic kidney disease and hyperkalemia.
AstraZeneca also embarked on a study with AliveCor and its Kardia-K AI tool to see how the technology can be used in real-world disease management and applications.
Others using tech to advance kidney disease care include Strive Health, which recently raised $140 million in a Series B funding round, and Ostuka, which last year rolled out the NephU platform for kidney disease and other related conditions.
ON THE RECORD
"We are pleased to extend our collaboration with RenalytixAI and advance our shared objective to translate high-quality research findings into clinical practice, thereby improving care and outcomes for people with kidney disease worldwide," Dr. Roberta Herman, president and CEO of Joslin Diabetes Center, said in a statement.