Health Problems

New test can predict diabetic kidney disease before it occurs

A new test developed by researchers from The University of Western Australia that can reliably predict the onset of diabetic kidney disease up to four years in advance has been given the green light for use.

Medical technology company Proteomics International Laboratories Ltd (Proteomics International; ASX: PIQ), headquartered in Perth, has partnered with a US company to make the test, PromarkerD, available to more than 30 million Americans living with diabetes. The company is also in discussion with Mexico, Australia, China, Japan, and Europe with a view to making the test accessible in those locations.

UWA lead researcher 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 per cent—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.

“It is able to achieve this by predicting the decline in function in 86 per cent of cases.”

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.

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