December 2019: News Briefs

SymphonyRM’s AI-Powered Patient Management Program

In a recent press release, SymphonyRM announced that Intermountain Healthcare is expanding its use of SymphonyRM’s HealthOS platform to provide prioritized, personalized, and proactive patient engagement for their Kidney Services organization. SymphonyRM, based in Palo Alto, California, is a privately held health-tech company helping healthcare organizations through its artificial intelligence(AI)-powered data science-driven Next Best Action consumer relationship management platform. Intermountain Healthcare is a Utah-based not-for-profit integrated healthcare delivery network.

The new kidney services program and clinic is designed to help patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease live the “healthiest lives possible.” The program’s care model focuses on early detection and engagement and aims to cut unnecessary hospital admissions by as much as 50%, help slow the rate of development of renal disease, and increase awareness of renal disease before patients suffer renal failure.

SymphonyRM’s AI algorithms will help identify management plans for all patients with CKD (at-risk, early, and late stage) and will orchestrate outreach across all channels. The Intermountain team will more effectively engage patients and be better able to identify key behaviors, comorbid conditions, and other factors that affect a patient’s long-term outcomes.

Suji Lee, MD, medical director, Intermountain Healthcare Kidney Services, said, “SymphonyRM’s AI-Powered Next Best Actions allow us to engage and connect patients to care earlier in their journey and effectively manage longitudinal care across the continuum, which will be critical to increase participation, track, and treat comorbid conditions which can decrease the severity of CKD, and empower patients to take a more active role in their own healthcare to improve outcomes while lowering costs.”

Mike Linnert, CEO and founder of SymphonyRM said, “Intermountain Healthcare Kidney Services’ innovative and patient-centric approach will lead the way to advancing American kidney health. We are honored that our Next Best Actions will add value to this important initiative and help improve outcomes for millions of Americans.”

American Kidney Fund and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Announce Partnership

The American Kidney Fund (AKF) has announced a partnership with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, to increase early detection and treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD), a rapidly growing noncommunicable disease, and to help those at risk of developing CKD to prevent it.

An estimated 96% of people with early-stage kidney disease are not aware of their condition and are thus not equipped with the knowledge to help slow down progression of the disease. The new campaign will build on AKF’s Know Your Kidneys™ program, the nation’s largest free kidney health screening program.

The US Department of Health & Human Services Advancing American Kidney Health initiative has highlighted the importance of early detection of kidney disease. The AKG’s campaign will complement federal efforts to make kidney disease a national priority in an effort to reduce the number of patients in the United States who reach kidney failure.

In a recent press release, LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of AKF, said, “Prevention and disease management have been a vital part of our mission for decades and we have provided free kidney health screening to thousands of Americans each year. We are extraordinarily grateful to Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for its partnership working with us to expand our reach, urging Americans to understand their risks and get tested early.”

According to the press release, more than a third of patients in the United States who receive a diagnosis of kidney failure have had little or no pre-end-stage renal disease nephrology care. AKF’s campaign will focus on reaching individuals most at risk for kidney disease as well as those who have a diagnosis.

2019 NNCC Award to Nurses of Rochester General Hospital Dialysis

The nurses of Rochester General Hospital Dialysis, Rochester, New York, have been presented with the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) 2019 Award for Nephrology Nursing Certification Advocacy. The award is given to acknowledge “outstanding performance in advancing nephrology nursing certification and patient care,” according to a press release from NNCC.

The award was given to coincide with Nephrology Nurses Week. Theresa Mottes, MSN, RM, CPNP-AC, CDN, president of NNCC presented the dialysis staff members with a plaque and a $1000 gift card. “I was truly honored to present the Advocacy Award to Rochester General Hospital Dialysis,” Ms. Mottes said. “This team is committed to delivering top-quality care and to improving the lives of their patients. Additionally, the leadership is committed to supporting staff through certification and education.”

Gina Scroggins, MSN, RN, NE-BC, CDN, CNN, nurse manager at Rochester General Hospital, said “We have a number of staff members who have worked in our department for many years and many who have held dialysis or nephrology certifications for years. Their commitment to their patients makes a difference.”

Information and a downloadable application are available on the NNCC Advocacy Award Page.

To be considered for the 2020 award, the application deadline is January 1, 2020. https://www.nncc-exam.org/awards/nncc-award-nephrology-nursing-certification-advocacy

Enrollment in URIROX-1 Trial Is Completed

Allena Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has announced the completion of enrollment in the phase 3 URIROX-1 clinical trial. URIROX-1 is a multicenter, global, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of reloxaliase for the treatment of patients with enteric hyperoxaluria. According to a press release, Allena expects to report topline data from the trial in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Louis Brenner, MD, president and chief executive officer of Allena Pharmaceuticals, said, “We would like to thank the dedicated patients and physicians who helped us achieve this development milestone for our reloxaliase program. We are excited to complete enrollment in this phase 3 trial, as it brings us one step closer to achieving our foundational goal of providing reloxaliase as a first-in-class therapy for patients with enteric hyperoxaluria. These patients suffer from the burden of excess oxalate, including kidney stones and kidney damage. We look forward to reporting topline data from URIROX in the fourth quarter, as we also continue to partner with the community to increase awareness of enteric hyperoxaluria and advance the ongoing URIROX-2 pivotal trial.”

The URIROX program consists of two pivotal phase 3 clinical trials, URIROX-1 and URIROX-2. The primary end point for both trials is the percent change from baseline in 24-hour urinary oxalate excretion, comparing reloxaliase to placebo. The primary long-term efficacy end point to confirm clinical benefit in URIROX-2 is the proportion of patients with kidney stone disease progression over a minimum treatment period of two years. Topline data from URIROX-2 is expected in the second half of 2021.

Results of REMDIAL III Clinical Trial Announced

Results of a late-breaking clinical trial in preventing contrast-induced acute kidney injury (CI-AKI) were announced at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics 2019 meeting in San Francisco in late September. In a press release, RenalGuard Solutions™ announced that the company’s RenalGuard® Therapy was found superior to the POSEIDON method in preventing CI-AKI in patients with kidney disease undergoing interventional procedures. The randomized, investigator-driven REMEDIAL III trial included 700 patients.

Patients with kidney disease undergoing interventional procedures using contrast may experience AKI in a number of ways, including direct toxicity, blocking oxygen delivery to the kidney, and increasing loss of fluid. RenalGuard Therapy is designed to protect patients by inducing and maintaining high urine output, reducing the incidence of CI-AKI.

The REMEDIAL III trial was designed to compare RenalGuard Therapy with left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVDEP)-guided hydration (the POSEIDON method). The data demonstrated superiority for RenalGuard Therapy via a significantly lower incidence of CI-AKI and/or pulmonary edema, and a lower incidence of major adverse events 1 month post-treatment.

Howard Lenin, MD, chief medical officer at RenalGuard Solutions, said, “RenalGuard Therapy has once again proven to be the most effective means of preventing acute kidney injury in at-risk patients.”

RenalytixAI Names New Board Member

Chirag Parikh, MD, has been appointed to the board of RenalytixAI, according to a recent press release. Dr. Parikh is the director of the division of nephrology and the Ronald Peterson Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

The author of more than 250 original articles, Dr. Parikh has several active NIH grants. His research focuses on the translation and validation of novel biomarkers for the diagnosis and prognosis of acute kidney injury (AKI). His studies have refined the clinical definition of perioperative AKI and hepatorenal syndrome, developed strategies to reduce kidney discard in deceased donor kidney transplantation, and advanced regulatory approvals of kidney injury biomarkers.

James McCullough, CEO of RenalytixAI, said, “We are honored to have one of the leading voices in kidney disease clinical practice and research join our board. Chirag will help ensure we maintain the highest standards of data driven development for the KidneyIntelX program.”

ANNA Nephrology Nursing Practice, Management, and Leadership Conference

Presentations at the American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA) Nephrology Nursing Practice, Management, and Leadership Conference, October 12-14, 2019, in San Diego, included changes needed to meet the goals of the Advancing American Kidney Health (AAKH) program. Gail DeWald, BS, RN, CNN, spoke about the need for new approaches to make kidney donation more attractive to US residents and to address ways transplant centers can be more efficient with organs received for donation in order to meet the goal of doubling the number of kidneys available for donation by 2030.

During a discussion of the AAKH program, James Twaddell, health policy consultant for ANNA, acknowledged that ANNA members are working hard to lower those factors that lead to CKD and ESRD. Donna Bednarski, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, and Anna’s liaison to the advocacy group Kidney Care Partners, noted that the executive order setting the AAKH goals left patients the opportunity to make modality choices for their care. The session ended with Tamara Kear, PhD, RN, CNS, CNN, national president of ANNA, announcing that ANNA has initiated a task force to address the issue of the shortage of nephrology nurses.

H. Joseph Salameh, MD, FASN, FACP, presented information on steps to reduce the risk of gout in patients with chronic kidney disease. Preventive steps include educating patients about the risk of consuming foods and drinks that carry a high risk of uric acid, limiting alcohol consumption, as well as consumption of red meat, shellfish, soda, and other foods high in acid. The risk of gout can also be mitigated with weight loss, he said.