While the phase I/II study was designed primarily to look at the safety of using this device on humans, the results also suggest improvement in kidney function. The patients enrolled in the trial faced an average 86 percent likelihood of dying at the hospital. Six of those 10 patients survived more than 30 days after treatment with the bioartificial kidney. The study appears in the October issue of the journal Kidney International.
"These results showed this type of human adult progenitor/stem cell is well-tolerated by patients with acute renal failure, and resulted in some improvement of the patients' clinical conditions. It's a small study but it was compelling enough for us and the FDA to go forward with a full phase II study," says lead study author H. David Humes, M.D., professor of Internal Medicine at the U-M Medical School. Humes developed the renal tubule assist device, or RAD, the cell cartridge that is key to the bioartificial kidney.
The RAD is being developed for future commercial applications under license to Nephros Therapeutics Inc.
The phase I/II study enrolled 10 patients at UMHS and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Patients were seriously ill, with acute renal failure and multiple other illnesses, including sepsis, multiple organ failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome and postoperative complications.
Each patient received up to 24 hours of treatment with the renal tubule assist device. Several patients were taken off the treatment earlier because of reactions such as hypoglycemia or low platelet counts, or because of complications related to their other medical conditions.
The bioartificial kidney includes a cartridge that filters the blood as in traditional kidney dialys