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Reata and Abbott Team Up to Develop New Drug for Chronic Kidney Disease

Updated: 8/14/21 11:00 amPublished: 8/31/11

Late last year, we found out about a new drug being developed by Reata Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD), a disorder that occurs more frequently in people with diabetes (for more information about CKD, please see What We’re Reading in diaTribe #8). In the last couple of months, we have learned more about it and seen more data, and we believe this is one that we’ll be hearing about for a long time to come, if current results are seen in larger, phase 3 studies. Why is that? This looks to be a disease-modifying drug – in other words, this drug could significantly improve long-term prospects for people with CKD. Currently, no treatment options exist for CKD beyond controlling high blood pressure and blood sugar levels to prevent the development of irreversible kidney failure. Encouragingly, Reata’s drug candidate – called bardoxolone – was recently shown to significantly improve kidney function in people with type 2 diabetes and CKD in a yearlong phase 2 study (for those interested in reading the study’s full publication that was published in the highly-respected New England Journal of Medicine in June, please click here). Last year, the early impressive results from Reata drew the interest of Abbott (maker of the FreeStyle Lite blood glucose meter and the FreeStyle Navigator continuous glucose monitor), which has decided to team up with Reata to help develop the drug and bring it to market (Abbott will be responsible for work outside the US). The companies are currently recruiting for a phase 3 trial in the US dubbed BEACON, and if all goes well, the drug may become available as early as 2014. Because it’s such an exciting new drug, we’ll be writing a more comprehensive update on bardoxolone in our upcoming issue focused on diabetes complications – stay tuned! --BK

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