BMP-7 Prevents Renal Osteodystrophy and Vascular Calcification Associated with Chronic Renal Disease
Mar 13, 2005 - 8:25:38 AM

Curis, Inc. highlighted that the recent online issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology contains a preclinical report demonstrating that treatment with BMP-7, a signaling protein that was discovered by scientists from Curis, results in amelioration of two major complications of chronic kidney disease.

The United States Renal Data System estimates that there are currently 423,000 patients in the U.S. with end-stage kidney disease and many more with various stages of chronic kidney disease.

Patients with chronic kidney disease or end-stage kidney disease experience a number of serious metabolic disorders that are associated with the loss of kidney function. Some of these disorders, such as severe anemia, have effective therapeutic treatments, such as erythropoietin.

Other kidney-disease-related disorders, including renal osteodystrophy (a collective name for several forms of metabolic bone disease) and vascular calcification (a form of cardiovascular disease that involves mineralization of the blood vessels), have proven much more difficult to treat successfully.

Cardiovascular mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease is extremely high.

The current report, entitled "Low Turnover Osteodystrophy and Vascular Calcification are Amenable to Skeletal Anabolism in an Animal Model of Chronic Kidney Disease and the Metabolic Syndrome," is authored by researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.

The investigators demonstrate that BMP-7 treatment prevents renal osteodystrophy and vascular calcification by stimulating the rate of skeletal mineralization, thereby diverting mineral that might have been deposited inappropriately in the blood vessels.

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