In my previous article, I explained the types, causes and symptoms of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI). Here, I’ll share how physicians treat and manage AKI, as well as what to expect. CRRT or intermittent hemodialysis? To treat AKI, nephrologists primarily use renal replacement therapy (RRT), which includes intermittent hemodialysis, peritoneal hemodialysis, various forms of CRRT, and “hybrid” therapies such as prolonged intermittent renal replacement therapy (PIRRT) or sustained low-efficiency hemodialysis (SLED). A few clinical trials are taking a look at CRRT and intermittent hemodialysis under different conditions.
What is AKI? AKI is a sudden, reversible decline in the kidney’s glomerular filtration rate (GFR); in other words, its ability to filter metabolic waste. This kidney damage causes an elevation of serum urea and creatinine, which affects the body's ability to function properly. Most AKI cases are reversible. However, it's important to treat AKI as early as possible to avoid its progression to chronic kidney disease or kidney failure.
There may be as many as 7,000 rare diseases. The European Union defines a disease as rare when it affects less than one in 2,000 people. According to the Orphan Drug Act, a rare disease affects less than 200,000 people in the United States. Support from FDA, EMA and other regulatory agencies, combined with technological and scientific advances, have made it more feasible for pharmaceutical companies to give dedicated attention to orphan drug development. In doing so, they're developing medications for rare diseases that often have no cure and no available treatment. To ensure novel therapies advance from the lab to regulatory approval, a blockbuster-drug approach won't work. Managing rare disease studies to completion requires innovative thinking in nearly every phase of program development. Those willing to become trailblazers have the highest odds of success.
To execute precision medicine clinical trials, sponsors have adopted a range of new approaches, especially in early-stage studies. Many of these models allow sponsors to recruit more patients and bring drugs to market faster— goals drug developers in all therapeutic areas work toward.
As clinical trials become more complex and costly, the need for skilled project managers to oversee them is more important than ever. Project management methodologies drive success for enterprise organizations in all sectors. These same principles can help pharmaceutical and biotech companies run more efficient, successful clinical trials.
To unlock more targeted, effective treatments, genetics researchers are exploring mutations responsible for some of the most common motor neuron diseases. These discoveries may lead to gene therapy treatment routes that do a better job of slowing disease progression than current medications. Much like gene therapy in oncology has brought improvement in cancer regression in recent years, we believe gene therapy—particularly therapy that targets and modulates RNA—is the future of neurology.