A new test that can reliably predict the onset of kidney damage caused by diabetes (diabetic kidney disease), up to four years in advance has received approval for its use. The test was developed by researcher Tim Davis, and colleagues from The University of Western Australia (UWA).
The test, PromarkerD is being made by the medical technology company Proteomics International Laboratories Ltd. in collaboration with a US company. The company is also in talks with Mexico, Australia, China, Japan, and Europe with a view to making the test accessible in those locations.
Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is kidney damage caused by diabetes. It is also known as chronic kidney disease (CKD) and diabetic nephropathy. People with diabetes have high blood glucose or blood sugar levels. Over time, high blood glucose can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys. Many people with diabetes also develop high blood pressure, which can also damage the kidneys.
PromarkerD is a simple blood test that can diagnose and predict whether a patient will develop diabetic kidney disease before clinical symptoms appear. In clinical studies, the test predicted 86% of previously disease-free patients who went on to develop diabetic kidney disease within four years. Early diagnosis of the disease will allow the patient to take steps to protect their kidneys from further damage.
How Does the Test Work:
- The patient’s blood is taken for testing in a pathology collection center in a routine blood test.
- The patient’s blood is analyzed in the testing laboratory using the PromarkerD laboratory developed test or PromarkerD diagnostic test kit.
- The testing laboratory sends the results of the blood analysis to the PromarkerD hub for processing.
- The PromarkerD hub analyses the blood results and determines the patient’s risk of developing diabetic kidney disease in the next four years.
Professor Tim Davis said PromarkerD involved a simple blood test that used a unique protein ‘fingerprint’ to detect future signs of kidney disease.
“For every million people living with diabetes, 10 percent – or 100,000 people – are expected to suffer a rapid decline in kidney function within four years,” Professor Davis said.
“This test has the potential to spare many people from future dialysis through the opportunity to intervene early with preventive measures. This could save the healthcare system a substantial amount of money.”
UWA Manager of Research Commercialisation Simon Handford said it was pleasing to see the outcomes of a research collaboration with a local company translating into real benefits for patients around the world.
“Putting our research to use is becoming more and more important and we can’t do it alone. Partnerships with companies like Proteomics International are absolutely critical in helping us have an impact,” he said.
Proteomics International Managing Director Dr. Richard Lipscombe said PromarkerD was a major weapon in the battle against the diabetes epidemic.
“Regular testing and early diagnosis of diabetic kidney disease with PromarkerD can help millions of people avoid costly and invasive dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant,” he said.
“It is great to see PromarkerD launching in the world’s largest healthcare market as we further negotiations to commercialize the test in other regions including Mexico, Japan, Australia, China and Europe.”