Invizius, the biotechnology spinout company developing treatments to suppress unwanted immune responses in dialysis, has been awarded a second Biomedical Catalyst grant by Innovate UK to research a new field of application for its H-Guard® technology.
Globally there are 3.5 million patients who are dependent on kidney transplants. This figure is increasing due to rising incidence of chronic kidney disease, diabetes and acute kidney injury. Haemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis are the two main treatment methods used today. Both have limitations due to the body’s immune reaction to the procedure.
Invizius is developing its H-Guard Haemodialysis Priming Solution which comprises a novel protein that lines the inside of the dialysis filter and helps dialysis to take place undetected by the body’s immune system. This suppresses the blood’s foreign body response preventing a repetitive, hostile inflammatory reaction that increases the risk of cardiovascular and other complications.
Peritoneal dialysis (PD), in which the whole abdominal cavity is flushed, rather than artificial kidneys being used to cleanse the blood, offers considerable benefits to patients, but it has a high dropout rate, which has limited its adoption compared with haemodialysis. One of the main causes of dropout is damage to the peritoneal membrane from chronic exposure to PD solutions, and immune activation is thought to be a key driver.
Through the Innovate UK Feasibility and Primer award, the company will now assess in-vitro and in-vivo efficacy of a novel method of using its technology for PD and progress thereafter into pre-clinical development. The project will run for 18 months.
Invizius was founded with Edinburgh Innovations' support in 2018, based on research by Dr Andy Herbert and his team in the University of Edinburgh's School of Chemistry.
Dr Herbert, Chief Technology Officer of Invizius, said:
Our Board, which comprises members with significant industry experience, together with key PD opinion leaders have encouraged us to assess how our H-Guard technology could be applied to minimise peritioneal membrane damage, a key issue for PD therapy. We are very pleased to receive this second Biomedical Catalyst grant which will allow us to research ways of addressing this issue alongside our Haemodialysis development programme which is running on track.