Western Australians with kidney disease offered new drug trial

A drug originally discovered at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Perth, and now being developed by Melbourne based company Dimerix for patients with chronic kidney disease, is being trialled in Western Australian in two new clinical studies.

These studies will commence in Western Australia in July for patients with two different types of kidney disease: one study in 40 patients across Australia with kidney disease caused by diabetes, and one study in 10 patients across Australia with a rare form of kidney disease called Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). Both of these serious kidney diseases result in patients requiring dialysis and/or a kidney transplant if left untreated.

The aim of the drug is to turn off two key cellular receptors known to cause inflammation in the kidney.

Previous studies conducted by Dimerix showed significant improvements in renal function for patients with chronic kidney diseases. The encouraging results from the earlier trial prompted the decision to initiate the two different clinical studies: one for patients with Diabetic Kidney Disease; and the second for patients with another form of kidney disease, Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). 

FSGS is a serious and rare disease that attacks the kidney’s filtering units (glomeruli) causing serious scarring which leads to permanent kidney damage and kidney failure and for which there is a recognised medical need for a new or improved treatment. FSGS affects both children and adults.

It is hoped that patients with these two types of debilitating kidney diseases will respond well to the treatment which would result in delayed kidney failure and the need for dialysis.

The WA studies will be conducted at the Linear Clinical Research facility at the QEII Medical Centre in Perth. The lead doctor overseeing these studies is kidney specialist Dr Helmant Kulkarni.

“I’m excited to have this new trial available for patients in WA, and it’s great to see this homegrown research made available to people of Western Australia” Dr Kulkarni said.

“Dimerix is pleased to be able to offer the opportunity for Western Australian patients to participate in the trials at Linear Clinical Research”, said Dr Nina Webster, CEO and Managing Director of Dimerix. “The results of these studies are pivotal for the company as they will provide further clinical data to support the company’s regulatory and partnering strategy”.

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