Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the pharma sector. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we want to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising kidney disease startups.
Heat Map: 5 Top Startups Tackling Kidney Diseases
Using our StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering 1.379.000+ startups & scaleups globally, we looked at innovation in the field of pharma. For this research, we identified 230 relevant solutions and picked 5 to showcase below. These companies were chosen based on a data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and relevance of technology, among others. Depending on your specific criteria, the top picks might look entirely different.
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 startups & scaleups developing solutions to tackle kidney diseases. Moreover, the Heat Map reveals regions that observe a high startup activity and illustrates the geographic distribution of all 230 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.
Klotho Therapeutics – Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease and acute renal failure are two conditions that result from poor kidney functioning. Any reduction in the levels of klotho, a naturally occurring protein in the kidneys, results in aggravated aging and impacts the processing capabilities of the kidneys. Startups are developing solutions that supplement the klotho levels in the human body and thereby improve kidney function.
The US-based BioTech startup Klotho Therapeutics develops recombinant versions of human klotho protein to treat chronic kidney disease. The solution has been demonstrated to significantly reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and acute renal failure (ARF) in animal models. It also holds promise for the treatments of other indications, such as sarcopenia, cancer, and aging-related disorders.
Invizius – Dialysis
Dialysis treatment mimics the kidney’s functions of filtering and processing the impurities in the blood. The frequency of dialysis varies for each patient, depending on the severity of the kidney disorder. However, there is a risk of contracting cardiovascular complications due to an immune response against the foreign object. Startups are working on solutions that make the process of dialysis safer and improve patients’ quality of life.
UK startup Invizius creates a priming solution for dialysis membranes. H-Guard incorporates a coating substance, a surface protein derived from Streptococcus pneumoniae, to cloak the dialysis membrane. This prevents immune cells from activating the inflammation on the detection of foreign bodies, thereby reducing the chance of cardiovascular complications in patients undergoing dialysis.
Chinook Therapeutics – Berger’s Disease
Immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy, also known as Berger’s disease, is a kidney disease that occurs due to an abnormal buildup of IgA in the kidneys. The local inflammation as a result of this IgA buildup hinders the kidneys from effectively filtering the waste from the blood. This has multiple complications, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, as well as swelling of the eyelids, feet, and abdomen. Startups are developing selective blocker drugs to identify and treat Berger’s disease before symptoms manifest.
Canadian startup Chinook Therapeutics is developing novel drug therapeutics to combat multiple kidney diseases including Berger’s disease. The startup’s lead candidate, Atrasentan, is a selective blocker of the ETA receptor and helps reduce kidney inflammation and scarring. Additionally, the startup is developing drugs for polycystic kidney disease among other kidney disorders.
Oxalo Therapeutics – Kidney Stones
Some gastrointestinal disorders lead to over absorption of oxalate. Accumulation of oxalate, uric acid, and calcium in the interior surface of the kidney results in the formation of crystalline particles, also known as kidney stones. Although this is treatable with shockwave lithotripsy, which breaks down the particles into smaller sizes, it is not effective in breaking down harder and larger stones in the kidneys. Startups develop therapeutic solutions to address the calcification of oxalates in the kidneys.
The US-based startup Oxalo Therapeutics is working on peptide-based therapeutics to treat kidney stones. The startup’s lead candidate is an oral pill that stimulates the natural intestinal oxalate regulation pathway and reduces the oxalate levels in plasma and urine. This solution effectively treats primary hyperoxaluria, secondary hyperoxaluria, and hyperoxalemia.
Kantum Bio – Acute Kidney Injury (AKI)
Patients, especially adults, undergoing cardiac surgery have a high risk of contracting acute kidney injury. Patients suffering from AKI have high mortality rates since the disease drastically reduces the body’s ability to process waste in the blood. Advancements in nephrology enable startups to identify targets for the development of small molecule therapeutics for the prevention of acute kidney injury in patients.
The US-based startup Kantam Bio develops biomarkers to identify AKI in its early stages. The startup’s lead drug candidate, KB-1801, is currently in preclinical development for the prevention of acute kidney injury resulting from cardiac surgery. The drug blocks the activation of uridine diphosphate (UDP) glucose or P2Y14 receptor, preventing inflammation of kidneys, lungs, and the uterus. Additionally, the startup is developing therapeutics and diagnostics for delayed graft function disorder, cystic fibrosis, and inflammatory disorders of the female reproductive tract.
What About The Other 225 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence and enable you to achieve your goals faster. The 5 kidney disease startups showcased above are promising examples out of 230 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria, get in touch.