New global collaboration to accelerate treatments for kidney disease

The International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and The George Institute for Global Health have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a network of patients with kidney disease willing to participate in clinical research projects, accessible through a single global chronic kidney disease platform, the Global Kidney Patient Trials Network (GKPTN).

The GKPTN aims to accelerate the development of new treatments for the benefit of millions of people globally who suffer from kidney disease and associated chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Professor Hiddo Lambers Heerspink, Co-Director of the Better Treatments Program at The George Institute for Global Health, says the GKTPN will help address current roadblocks to clinical research essential for driving improvements in treatments and care for kidney disease.

“New structures that facilitate patient access to trials are urgently needed to speed up the discovery of novel therapies and to reduce the burden of kidney disease on patients and health systems,” said Professor Lambers Heerspink. “Although some progress has been made in the discovery of new treatments for kidney disease in recent years the risk of kidney failure and cardiovascular disease remains high and more clinical trials to proof efficacy and safety of novel therapies are critical.”

“Through the GKTPN, The George Institute looks forward to working with the ISN and the global research community to bring patients and trials closer together, address evidence gaps, and facilitate more rapid translation of new kidney disease interventions into clinical practice,” he said

Finding participants who are suitable for and willing to participate in clinical studies is time-consuming. The GKPTN collaboration will help establish a global network of willing patients who can be contacted quickly when an appropriate study becomes available. By enhancing clinical research into kidney disease, the platform will also help build capacity, train the next generation of clinical researchers and connect the global kidney disease community.

Dr David Wheeler, Chair of the International Society of Nephrology Advancing Clinical Trials (ISN-ACT) Committee said: “This project is aligned to the aims of the ISN-ACT Committee. ISN-ACT is delighted to be able to work with The George Institute on this project, which should enhance participation of kidney patients in future clinical research studies.”

To achieve the key objectives of this collaboration, a global umbrella network of established patient trials networks and registries, The ISN Patient Trials Network, will also be created. By collaborating with other established ventures worldwide, the GKPTN will be the initial member of the ISN Patient Trials Network.

As low- and middle-income countries are disproportionately impacted by the growing burden of kidney disease, addressing inequities in access to healthcare underpins the focus of the GKPTN and The ISN Patient Trial Network. 

Dr Sradha Kowal, nephrologist at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney Australia and Program Head of the Renal and Metabolic Division at The George Institute said: “The GKPTN concept has arisen from widespread discussions with clinicians and members of kidney disease organisations and is intended to belong to and serve the interests of the global kidney disease community.”

To find out more or get involved with the GKPTN email