Difelikefalin is intended to treat adult haemodialysis patients with moderate to severe chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus (CKD-aP) (uraemic pruritus). Uraemic pruritus can be very unpleasant; about half of affected individuals become agitated or depressed. Uraemic pruritus in haemodialysis patients is associated with a 17% increase in mortality. Currently there are no approved treatments specifically for this condition.
Difelikefalin is a potent kappa opioid receptor agonist that is an itch and inflammation suppressant. Difelikefalin intravenous injection acts as an itch and inflammation suppressant without the undesirable side-effects typical of a centrally-acting opioid medicine such as hallucinations or opioid addiction. If licensed, difelikefalin will offer an additional treatment option for adult haemodialysis patients with moderate to severe CKD-aP who currently have few effective therapies available.
The Human acellular vessel (HAV) is in clinical development to provide vascular access for haemodialysis patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). ESRD is a long-term irreversible condition where the kidneys do not work as well as they should as a result of chronic kidney disease. There is no cure for kidney failure and patients with this condition requires haemodialysis or a renal transplant for survival. Haemodialysis works by taking blood from the body and cleaning it through a machine to remove the toxins. Blood is filtered before being returned to the body. Vascular access is a way to reach the blood during haemodialysis.