Renalytix AI announced collaboration with AstraZeneca to develop and launch precision medicine strategies for cardiovascular, renal and metabolic diseases. The first stage in the collaboration will use KidneyIntelX, an artificial intelligence-enabled in vitro diagnostic platform, to examine further improving outcomes for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and its complications, in coordination with the Mount Sinai Health System. The goal of the first stage is to help improve guideline-based standard-of-care for optimal utilization of existing and novel therapeutics using the KidneyIntelX testing platform and proprietary care management software.
An estimated 700 million patients worldwide have CKD, which is also associated with an increased risk of metabolic and hematologic complications, such as hyperkalemia (elevated levels of potassium in the blood) and anemia.
The first stage will assess the impact of AI-enabled in vitro diagnostic solutions to optimize utilization of therapeutics in CKD under current standard of care protocols. Based on study outcomes, a multi-center, randomized controlled trial will be initiated to evaluate uptake and adherence to new potassium-binding agents in patients with CKD and hyperkalemia. The studies will be conducted in coordination with the Mount Sinai Health System, where KidneyIntelX testing and care management software are currently being deployed for commercial clinical use.
“We believe this collaboration will define how we can leverage KidneyIntelX to improve the care and outcomes for patients affected by chronic diseases, such as kidney disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease,” said Barbara Murphy, MD, chair of the Samuel Bronfman Department of Medicine, Dean for Clinical Integration and Population Health Management at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and board member of RenalytixAI. “By using a more personalized approach, our initial goal is to help realize improved outcomes for more than 240,000 patients with chronic kidney disease within the Mount Sinai Health System.”
“This collaborative approach reflects the shared vision of AstraZeneca and RenalytixAI to develop meaningful solutions to tackle significant challenges in healthcare in a holistic way,” said Tarek Rabah, vice president, AstraZeneca US Renal-Cardio. “We are committed to revolutionizing kidney care by continuing to drive innovation. An important component of our work is identifying patients with significant unmet need and providing them with more personalized interventions.”
CKD is a serious, progressive condition defined by decreased kidney function (shown by reduced eGFR or markers of kidney damage, or both, for at least three months). In the United States alone, nearly 37 million American adults (15%) currently have CKD. Meanwhile, on a global scale, the total number of individuals with CKD, acute kidney injury (AKI), and those on renal replacement therapy (RRT) exceeds 850 million.
The disease often has no symptoms in its early stages and can go undetected until it is very advanced requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 9 out of 10 adults with CKD go undiagnosed, and half of patients with very low kidney function, who are not on dialysis, do not know they have CKD. For this reason, kidney disease is often referred to as a “silent disease.”
As kidney function declines, patients face an increased risk of developing other associated CKD complications, such as anemia or hyperkalemia. Anemia is a serious medical condition in which patients have insufficient red blood cells and low levels of hemoglobin (Hb), a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to cells throughout the body. If left untreated, anemia of CKD can cause increased hospitalization, morbidity and mortality. Hyperkalemia can also be a dangerous condition, characterized by elevated potassium levels in the blood. If left untreated, it can cause an irregular heartbeat and can be fatal.