New treatment targeting chronic kidney disease

A new breakthrough treatment, based on technology developed by researchers at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, could potentially control a major symptom of Chronic Kidney Disease.

Kevin PflegerChronic Kidney Disease is an illness that affects one in three Australians and can lead to kidney failure, cardiovascular disease and premature death. 

The treatment aims to control protein leakage (proteinuria) from the kidneys - a common symptom of chronic kidney disease.

Associate Professor Kevin Pfleger, is the Perkins Head of Molecular Endocrinology and Pharmacology, and Chief Scientific Advisor of biotechnology company Dimerix. Dimerix plans to release­­­­ additional results from Phase II clinical trials of its flagship drug therapy DMX-200 in the coming months.

DMX-200 was generated from the groundbreaking Receptor-Heteromer Investigation Technology (Receptor-HIT) developed in Perkins laboratories and assigned to Dimerix in 2006.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently validated the Receptor-HIT screening technology as important in understanding and identifying new treatments. 

DMX-200 combines two existing drugs; a blocker compound used for its anti-inflammatory properties and a hormone blocker used for the treatment of high blood pressure and diabetic kidney disease.

Associate Professor Pfleger says these blocker compounds were selected due to finding a functional interaction between the receptors they bind to in kidney cells.

“These findings have been published in the scientific journal PLoS One, validated in preclinical models by colleagues at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, and have led to the Phase II clinical trials” Associate Professor Pfleger says.

Associate Professor Pfleger says the drug therapy has the potential to treat other conditions such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which affects an estimated 6 million people in the US and currently has no established treatment.

Associate Professor Pfleger was recently awarded the prestigious Novartis Prize of the British Pharmacological Society for his outstanding work in medical research, and will receive the prize this month in London.

Learn more about Associate Professor Pfleger's work.

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