The scientists from University of Michigan (U-M), in collaboration with the colleagues of AstraZeneca, have developed a new therapeutic approach for patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). The new collaboration effort would provide advancements towards accelerating the discovery of life-changing therapies for CKD.

CKD is a condition in which damaged kidneys fail to filter blood as efficiently as healthy kidneys do. It affects more than 10% of the population resulting in increased cardiovascular disease, dialysis, and death. The people with increased prevalence of diabetes and obesity are at higher risk of CKD. At present, there is no effective treatment available for CKD.

The four-year collaboration, headed by U-M nephrologist Matthias Kretzler, and Vince Groppi, from the Center for Discovery of New Medicines at U-M, brings together a powerful, cross-functional team of experts in bioinformatics, translational drug discovery, and precision medicine. The leaders from U-M include Raymond Trievel, Wenjun Ju, and Jeanne Stuckey.

The collaborative efforts shows a new level of cooperation between the University of Michigan and an industry partner to improve the treatment and outcome for CKD patients potentially, said Steve Kunkel, from the U-M Medical School Office of Research. “New therapies for patients are waiting to be discovered among the vast amount of information now available. I’m confident this is an effective route to get better medicines to people with failing kidneys.”

“This collaboration allows us to combine our efforts to develop a fundamentally novel treatment strategy which both of our teams identified and pursued independently,” said Kretzler. “Our complementary expertise in kidney disease and drug development will help us to realize the goal of having a major impact on the health of our CKD patients.”

The high throughput screening and structural biology facilities at the U-M Life Sciences Institute enable the researchers to develop a new therapeutic strategy in the CKD project. The research was funded by the Center for the Discovery of New Medicines at U-M. The new collaboration with AstraZeneca would contribute funding to support the researchers at the project reaches agreed milestones.

The new collaboration completely aligned with the strategic commitment of AstraZeneca in order to direct scientific advancements in the field of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The collaborative effort with the researchers from the University of Michigan for developing a life-changing therapy for CKD would be effective, concluded Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President of AstraZeneca’s Innovative Medicines and Early Development (IMED) Biotech Unit.