George Clinical’s global renal team well represented in attendance and presentations.
At the opening plenary of Kidney Week 2023, ASN President Michelle A. Josephson acknowledged the contributions that the 12,000 attendees are making in the fight against kidney diseases who are “mounting a daily fight on behalf of your patients—working on matters of existential importance on both an individual and a global scale.” She urged everyone to “never stop fighting this fight.”
For decades, kidney patients have had few treatment options, with therapeutic advances lagging far behind research in other diseases. But times have changed, and at Kidney Week 2023, it was evident that a new era is rapidly dawning. Recent developments are finally changing practice—giving new hope. Breakthroughs across the board—from CKD to IgA nephropathy and FSGS, are signaling the possibility of delaying time to kidney failure and extending the quality and duration of life for many kidney patients.
Genetic profiling was a hot topic as we gained a growing understanding of the pathogenesis of kidney disease. Leading the way is the discovery of the APOL 1 gene which has been identified as a “kidney risk” gene and is now known to account for nearly all excess risk of kidney failure in African Americans arising from causes other than diabetes.
Nephrology trials have evolved from large CKD studies into much smaller and more complex studies for rare diseases. It now seems possible that, in the not-so-distant future, we will have the capability to target distinct stages in an individual’s disease with novel, more precise therapies that do much more than manage symptoms. For a disease whose treatments have basically remained static for decades, this is indeed a momentous time.
George Clinical’s global renal team well represented.
The central place and worldwide influence of ASN was clearly evident with an impressive diversity of worldwide participants. George Clinical’s global renal team was well represented with team members from the USA, UK, Australia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Argentina, Brazil and China. This included leaders from both operational and Scientific Leadership teams—many of whom are proud to have been a part of high-impact trials that were discussed for CKD, IgAN and FSGS.
Dr. Manthinda Hettiarachchi, Renal Global Therapeutic Head stated, “The best moment of Kidney Week for me was unveiling the study data from a Phase II IgA nephropathy study in which George Clinical played a major role in making a great success. It happened during the height of the pandemic, but our efforts made it possible to recruit more patients than needed and retain all of them. Dr. Muh Geot Wong and Professor Vivekanand Jha played a major role in encouraging the principal investigators to keep going forward in their regions. This is a great example of George Clinical’s commitment to success.”
Zhenfei Yi, Regional Head Project Operations China was able to speak to sponsors about our passion for and commitment to conducting renal trials in China, where kidney disease behaves in a more aggressive manner than in Western populations. Sergio Godoy, Associate Director, Scientific Services Argentina spoke with sponsors on the value of our differentiating Scientific Leadership model in renal trials, reflecting the fact that many of our Scientific Leaders had work prominently highlighted in conference presentations as well as in such esteemed publications as The Lancet and NEJM.
“My ASN experience was a success,” said Sergio. “The ASN was a special moment for smiling and meeting with people that you regularly talk to, but you do not have the opportunity to see and speak to in person often. And it was fabulous to be able to have dinner with two inspiring National Leaders I have worked with. I also participated in a Steering Committee Meeting for the first time and celebrated how much I learned.”
George Clinical’s Senior Scientific Leaders came from around the world to participate and network. Dr. Chee Kay Cheung from the UK remarked, “A personal highlight for me was seeing results announced from clinical trials on IgA nephropathy and other kidney diseases I have been working on for many years, both as an investigator and with George Clinical. There have been rapid developments in the field which are changing practice and how we think about these diseases, with a lot more exciting work to come.”
Professor Roberto Pechoits-Filo agreed, stating, “I felt that the Kidney Week vibe was back to pre-pandemic level. I was thrilled to see several of the high-impact trials presented and simultaneously published in top-notch journals, reflecting the amazing moment that Nephrology is going through.” And Dr. Brendon Neuen, Senior Research Fellow from Australia reflected, “It was fantastic to see our work on GFR slope as a surrogate endpoint help inform the design, conduct and reporting of trials evaluating new therapies for glomerular diseases, particularly IgA nephropathy. We are really only just embarking on what will be a golden age for kidney disease clinical trials.”
The need to address the global renal burden is real—and for George Clinical, the mission is vital. The work we are doing in renal trials is creating a community of medical practitioners globally who are treating their patients to the highest available standards — regardless of their location. We are dedicated to creating the next generation of KOLs—actively educating the next generation of clinicians and researchers who will carry the mission forward. As a global CRO specializing in Kidney & Metabolic, George Clinical strives to contribute to defining the future of clinical care for worldwide kidney disease patients in this promising new renaissance of kidney research.