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Scientists reach breakthrough in membranous nephropathy research - NephrologyNews.com

Scientists have made a breakthrough in their research for a membranous nephropathy treatment. A team of researchers from the University of Manchester and Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has found the precise region of the phospholipase A2 receptor protein (PLA2R) where antibodies attack, and discovered molecules which can block antibodies from binding to the PLA2R protein and causing damage. The research is described in a recent paper, "Identification of a Major Epitope Recognized by PLA2R Autoantibodies in Primary Membranous Nephropathy," published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Membranous nephropathy occurs when the immune system causes antibodies to attack the PLA2R protein found in kidney cells, which results in thickening of the capillary walls.  A team of researchers from the University of Manchester and Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have found the precise region of PLA2R where antibodies attack, and have discovered molecules which can block antibodies from binding to the PLA2R protein and causing damage

Now that researchers know where the antibody attacks, they can design treatments to remove it, or to block it from attacking the kidney with peptides, the researchers said.

About the study
Eighty percent of adults with MN will produce antibodies against PLA2R, so it was vital for the team to find out how the antibodies bind to the protein and cause damage, the researchers said. To do this, the team needed to know the exact structure of the protein so they built a three dimensional model. They then discovered that they could stop the antibodies from binding to the PLA2R protein by making a small replica of the binding site so that the antibodies attacked the decoy and not the real protein.

“This opens up possibilities for two new treatments for MN patients," said Dr.  Rachel Lennon commented. "We may be able to use a decoy as a drug to block the anti-PLA2R antibodies from attacking the kidney, or we could use small molecules called peptides to remove the anti-PLA2R antibodies from the body. Our research should eventually lead to the development of a specific treatment for patients with MN that will reduce the severity of the condition, prevent progression to kidney failure, and reduce the risk to patients from existing immunosuppressive treatment.”

Professor Paul Brenchley says “This research project shows the benefit of University and NHS researchers working closely together to improve treatments for patients. We now know how to remove these damaging antibodies and our research group will develop a specific and safer therapy over the next three years if we can attract the next round of funding."

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Vital Access Receives $10 Million Financing Commitment from Deerfield - PR Newswire (press release)
SALT LAKE CITY, May 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Vital Access Corp. announced today that it has closed on a $10 million credit facility with Deerfield Management, a healthcare investment firm. Proceeds from the financing will be used to fund Vital Access' continued global expansion of its innovative VWING™ Vascular Needle Guide franchise and for further investment in the Company's proprietary vascular access platform. "Vital Access is very pleased to have Deerfield as a financial partner. Deerfield is a healthcare investor with great depth of experience and resources," said Doug Smith, President and CEO of Vital Access. "With their support, we will work to establish VWING as the gold standard for easier and more durable AV Fistula access for dialysis." VWING™ Vascular Needle Guide is a patented implantable accessory device designed to facilitate safe and reliable access to arteriovenous fistulas (AVF) in patients suffering from End Stage Renal Disease who are undergoing hemodialysis. Up to 26 million Americans -1 in 9 adults - have chronic kidney disease, and more than 570,000 Americans have kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease, or ESRD. In the U.S., this patient population is projected to grow at a rate of close to 4%. VWING™ is an accessory device used in conjunction with AV Fistula, the predominant method of vascular access for hemodialysis globally. In the SAVE study, a prospective, multi-center, US pivotal clinical trial, VWING was shown to provide reliable fistula access in 96% of patients who had been determined to have uncannulatable fistulas. Long-term follow up results show VWING patients in the SAVE study have experienced significantly lower incidence of access site and systemic infection than USRDS published rates for AV Fistula access. "In many patients, palpating and cannulating the arteriovenous fistula is challenging; the use of VWING™  is demonstrated to improve cannulation success with fewer attempts, thereby improving the experience for patients and healthcare professionals and providing a safe alternative for establishing cannulatable fistulas," said Avi Kometz, Partner at Deerfield.  "We are pleased to partner with Vital Access to advance the company's commercialization of VWING™." "Vital Access' VWING™ has the potential to make a huge impact in the lives of tens of thousands of patients suffering with ESRD," said David Hochman, Chairman of Vital Access and Managing Partner of Orchestra Medical Ventures, the Company's lead equity investor. "We are thrilled that Deerfield has recognized the clinical importance of this device and is partnering with us to enable Vital Access to achieve its full commercial potential." About Vital Access® Vital Access® designs and manufactures surgical and interventional technologies to improve vascular access for patients and their caregivers. Vascular access challenges have driven the company to develop the VWING™ Vascular Needle Guide, which is currently approved for use in markets such as the United States, Canada, Europe and New Zealand. Vital Access® and its employees are committed to quality and improving patient care. Our focus is developing solutions for access surgeons, clinicians and patients. About Deerfield Management Company Deerfield is a healthcare investment firm, committed to advancing healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy. For more information about Deerfield, please visithttp://www.deerfield.com.

About Orchestra Medical Ventures

Orchestra Medical Ventures is an investment firm that employs a proprietary and innovative strategy to create and build medical technology companies intended to generate substantial clinical value and superior investor returns.

Contact
Vital Access Corp.
Mr. Doug Smith, President and CEO
801-433-9390
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Orchestra Medical Ventures, LLC
Mr. David Hochman, Managing Partner
60 East 42nd St. Suite 1160
New York, NY 10165
Phone: 646-367-5905
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Deerfield Management Company
Karen Heidelberger, 212-692-7140
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

SOURCE Vital Access Corp.

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Nephrology Care Group opens dialysis center in DC area - NephrologyNews.com

Nephrology Care Group Inc. has opened a dialysis center in the Washington DC area. Nephrology Care Group of Chantilly, located in Virginia, is a specialized center offering all home dialysis treatment modalities including CAPD, CCPD, home, staff-assisted dialysis and CKD training and education.

This marks the first clinic in this market for the company with additional chronic programs to be opening in the near future. The company also has Dialysis Services Agreement with a large hospital system in Alabama and has a new clinic and home dialysis program opening next month in Georgia. The company is also developing dialysis clinics in Georgia, Virginia, Michigan, and Alabama.

"The opening of this new center is consistent with our strategic growth plans of clustering in the Mid-Atlantic region," said CEO Virginia Long. "We are very excited about this facility and our physician partners which will serve the patients of Fairfax and surrounding counties. It is a testament to the type of quality focused, patient oriented relationships we are in search of with all of our physician partners. We believe that healing can be best accomplished in an environment where the patient feels safe and comfortable and where patient’s needs come first.”

The new home dialysis program is currently accepting new patients. 

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DCI helps dialysis patient remain active - Shelbyville Times-Gazette

ESRD. End Stage Renal Disease. Huge volumes of information are available regarding kidney disease at all stages, but ESRD implies a kidney patient must face tough decisions regarding his or her treatment. Most materials are very direct in the approach to kidney disease, i.e. "dialyze or die." However, there are options for necessary dialysis, including a kidney transplant.

Hundreds on kidney patients live and are treated in the Middle Tennessee area. Near 60 of those are treated at Dialysis Clinic, Inc. in Shelbyville.

The DCI on-profit treatment centers number at least 230 clinics in 28 states.

The Jackson family still operates these clinics, which owe their success at treating kidney patients and aiding transplant donors.

Digitally efficient machines monitor blood pressure, can be set to pump blood at certain rates of exchange, i.e., so many milliliters of blood per minute and includes advanced filtering with dialyzer units for each individual.

The actual dialyzer is removed for cleaning at the end of each session and trashed, or in some instances sent for cleaning to be reused by the same individual. The filtering process removes waste and water from the blood of the patient, performing as natural kidneys would.

More than six years ago, my family physician sent me to a nephrologist as my blood tests reflected possible kidney issues. After several years of monitoring my condition, the doctor suggested, "You know? I expect you will need dialysis eventually."

I was flabbergasted... how could this be possible? I dismissed the fact that my brother spent ten years on dialysis before receiving a donor kidney. In denial and suppressed anger, I sought the opinion of another nephrologist. During approximately two years of visits to the new doctor, (Dr. Oladapo Omitowoju) the exact same diagnosis was repeated to me as before.

I laughed in continued disbelief. How and why had my kidneys failed? Answer: Hypertension; fluctuating blood pressure, long-term.

A one-time diagnosis of diabetes was put aside, blood sugar levels, normal, and the nephrologist tripled the dosage of my blood pressure medicine. My kidneys functioned at 14-16%. Later: 8% and in a few more months, 4%. Dr. O. announced, "It is time. You can begin hemodialysis Friday."

Driving home, unable to think clearly, I concentrated on what Dr. O. had said. My condition was likely genetic. I could live for many years on dialysis. We discussed all the options in treatment and he arranged with surgeon Dr. William Russell to create a fistula in my left forearm. That did not succeed, as my veins are too fragile.

So, Dr. Russell installed a graft in my left upper arm, a plastic tube over a vessel that allows for the insertion of two needles. Blood out, blood in, through tubes attached to the hemodialysis machine. Because I slept through that surgery I became more calm and accepted that my life was changing.

An afternoon on the dialysis machine for me can be at any one of 23 stations at DCI. Ten to 23 patients and myself are plugged into the dialysis machines for several hours during any of three shifts on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

One of five nurses, four certified technicians, the interns and assistants welcome us to the clinic directed by Faye Chavez, RN, Nurse Manager.

We weigh in, wash our hands and access sites and are directed to our heated chairs and digital machines for the day's session.

May is my fourth month on hemodialysis at DCI.

The large clinic on the second floor of the Russell Plaza Building is beautifully designed and decorated in comforting colors of blue, green and white. The floors, counter tops and all surfaces shine. Television sets hang above all 23 stations. Florescent lighting is recessed in the ceiling and large windows on three sides allow us to view the woods and fields in the surrounding area. The view is beautiful, especially on a sunny day.

Nutritionist, Emma Montgomery, RD, LDN, with social worker, Rene Brothers, LAPSW, and the Clinic Director, Faye Chavez are all at work when patients arrive. The Clinic opens at 5:30 a.m. and those last to leave depart late in the evening. The RN's, Logie Fuerte, Haydee Rivera, Ted Labayo, and Maria Belinda Enriquez are scheduled per shift with alternating late evening duty during the week.

The CCHT group (clinical technicians) all share the same alternating schedule. Those individuals include: Chauneuell Green, Jennifer Johnson, Lanisa Crosslin, and Diana Aldridge. Jason Gentry is the Bio-Med Technician, and Beverly Waddell is the Unit Office Clerk. Beverly is the first to greet patients at the office window when we arrive at DCI.

I am scheduled to dialyze from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but am often called to come in early when a station is available. The drive from home to the Clinic is 16 miles one way. The 90 miles per week can be deducted as medical-related expense on income tax filings.

Travel to and from the clinic is the only expense not covered by insurance. Medicare covers other charges and DCI is a non-profit medical service. Average cost of treatment per patient, per session is normally more than $1,000.

Hemodialysis is not easy or comfortable initially, but one becomes accustomed to the process, and we beginners are treated with compassion and understanding by all the staff. Conceding to the time necessary each week is challenging if one is usually busy with work, childcare, or other endeavors.

Driving back and forth in bad weather is equally challenging. But the real challenge for me was facing those two large needles inserted into my upper arm, through the graft there installed for precisely the purpose of filtering or cleaning my blood.

Once plugged into the tubes that circulate the blood through the dialyzer, a patient's blood pressure is monitored every half hour. Heartbeat and body temperature are measured, speed of circulation is set for milliliters per minute, ankles and legs checked for swelling. (Many patients are diabetic and have lost kidney function as a result.)

One marvelous invention is a numbing cream, which applied a couple hours before a session does keep the patient from feeling the pain of those large, needle sticks. I am a strong advocate of this pain-relieving cream applied to my upper arm.

Initially, one begins with small needles at a pump rate of 175 to 300 ml per minute, and that is gradually increased to a rate of 400 ml per minute with larger needles. Time on the machine is a standard four hours per session.

A graft is a surgically implanted tube in the arm that covers a large vein. The tube allows or accommodates the two-needle placement for blood in, blood out. There are other kinds of access. One is a port in the chest or another, a port in the belly for peritoneal access. Another solution to ESRD (end stage renal disease) is a kidney transplant. Thousands of individuals await transplants. Currently, I do not qualify because I have not yet been on dialysis for two to five years, nor were any of those who offered me a kidney qualified to be donors.

So I and thousands of others will continue dialysis for the remainder of our lives. Some disqualifying instances for potential donors include being a childbearing age female, being obese or very elderly, or having once been a cancer patient. Without dialysis, I would die and soon. That explains most of the emotional, mental, psychological adjustment every patient faces. One irony is the fact that many kidney conditions are genetic and entire families can be subject to these choices for treatment for life.

One can lose two to five pounds in one session on the machine.

Therefore, the necessity for weighing in and out at every session, and for the patient's limiting liquid and sodium intake between sessions is extremely important. Blood chemistry is monitored monthly and discussed with the patient by the nutritionist. Patients learn all about foods high or low in sodium, potassium, phosphorous, and readings include blood number measurements of albumin, creatine, hematocrit, vitamin D and more. Believe me: at DCI, in the atmosphere of face masks, white coats and blue latex gloves, with bleach and vinegar as cleaning fluids, nothing goes unnoticed, unrecorded, unmeasured or unmentioned!

There are several DCI Clnics in the middle-Tennessee area, including Murfreesboro and Nashville. DCI social worker Rene Brothers, can arrange for patients to dialyze elsewhere, even as far as out-of-state or in another country. But that, I am not quite ready to do. However, Missouri and California are on my bucket list for trips outside Tennessee, even if I must taxi myself to a clinic three days during a week-long visit.

Thanks to Dr. Kolff and Dr. Johnson, I will not only survive, but can lead an active, productive and happy life. We thousands of kidney patients and our families owe deep gratitude to the many non-profits who so generously provide this costly, life-saving service. Thank you, DCI, Shelbyville!

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15000 renal failure cases reported in KSA - Yahoo! Maktoob News

 

There are nearly 15,000 renal failure patients in the Kingdom and two-third of them undergo dialysis, said Dr. Mohammed Al-Aumi, supervisor of King Salman Kidney Center in Riyadh.

Addressing a workshop organized by the Health Ministry for enhancing public awareness on kidney related diseases, he said renal failure cases are spreading all over the world.

“More than 600 million people around the world currently suffer from kidney diseases and they account for 14.2 percent of global population,” Al-Aumi told participants.

“It’s a silent disease that creeps into all parts of body and we’ll know its symptoms only after sometime,” he pointed out.

Al-Aumi underscored the ministry’s efforts to combat renal diseases. “It promotes public awareness to take precautions against the disease. These kinds of meetings help experts develop effective precautionary measures.”

He stressed the importance of conducting regular checkups in order to avoid complications. “Awareness programs will help relatives of patients to understand the best methods to deal with patients.”

Daleel Ghazi Al-Shammari spoke about the importance of educating patients and their families about the impact of kidney diseases and the need to correct their wrong notions.

“Every member of the society should know about it,” she said while highlighting the dangerous consequences of the disease.

The awareness program aims at informing the public about kidney functions and how its failure would affect a person’s health. Diabetes, obesity and blood pressure could lead to renal failure.

“The program also aims at encouraging the public to adopt a hygienic lifestyle, keeping away from smoking, reducing bodyweight, doing physical exercise and taking a balanced diet,” she said.

 

Copyright: Arab News © 2015 All rights reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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