A New Treatment for a Multi-Faceted Disease
African Americans have a three to four times greater risk for developing kidney failure than Caucasians. African Americans who have the APOL1 gene mutation are at an even higher risk. Currently, there are no cures for CKD and treatment strategies for CKD include the strict control of high blood pressure and high blood sugar. The ACEi drug Captopril® is approved for use in patients with CKD due to Type 1 diabetes and both ACEi and ARBs are widely prescribed to slow the progression of CKD. Furthermore, the treatment with ACEi has been linked to hyperkalemia (elevated blood potassium levels), which increases the risk for abnormal heart rhythms and sudden death. In fact, two clinical trials investigating the use of ACEi and ARB combination therapy in kidney disease were stopped prematurely because participants developed hyperkalemia. The added complication of hyperkalemia results in patients receiving smaller, or suboptimal, doses or patients being untreated because they cannot tolerate the treatment. Additional side effects with ACEi treatment are angioedema (swelling of skin tissue) and more commonly a persistent cough.
DM199 treatment is intended to directly replenish KLK1 levels, maintaining or potentially restoring kidney function. Current treatment options, especially ACEi drugs, only partially restore kidney function and are associated with high-risk side effects. ACEi drugs can generate excessive BK where it is not needed, potentially leading to side effects such as cough and angioedema. DM199 treatment may potentially allow KLK1 to follow its normal physiological processes and release BK when and where it is needed, avoiding these side effects.
We believe that DM199, a protein replacement therapy, has the potential to change the treatment paradigm, promoting better, and possibly restoring, overall function and protecting the kidney from further damage.