Egypt - Astellas Pharma Inc. introduced a new treatment for adults with anaemia associated with CKD,1 a debilitating condition which causes some to experience severe symptoms and struggle with day-to-day activities, during a press conference on Thursday.

CKD is a progressive disease characterised by gradual loss of kidney function that may eventually lead to kidney failure or end-stage kidney disease, requiring dialysis or kidney transplant.7 In 2019, the burden of CKD had increased by 36% in Egypt since 2009, with CKD ranking fifth among the leading causes of death in the country.

Anaemia is a common complication of CKD that can be observed early in the development of the condition,8 defined by low levels of haemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body.8 Anaemia of CKD has a multifactorial impact on the body which leads to a progressively negative impact on a patient’s quality of life, often providing challenges with mobility, self-care and day-to-day activities for people living with the condition.6 Additionally, untreated anaemia of CKD is associated with an increased risk of hospitalisation, cardiovascular complications and worsening kidney function.

Speaking at a press conference to introduce this new treatment, Nilay Tarr, General Manager of Astellas Egypt, said: “CKD continues to be a major public health concern in Egypt, due to its rapidly increasing incidence, and there is a significant unmet medical need when it comes to treatment options for patients with anaemia of CKD.”

She added: “Not only has this treatment for adults shown to be effective in increasing and maintaining target haemoglobin levels, its novel mechanism of action and oral administration offers meaningful benefits and outcomes for patients. At Astellas, we are dedicated to uncovering unmet medical needs and driving medical solutions in nephrology, that deliver value and relief to patients, their families and carers in Egypt.”

Taken orally, Astella’s new treatment activates the body’s natural response to reduced oxygen levels in the blood. The response involves the regulation of multiple, coordinated processes that improve iron absorption and mobilisation, and increase red cell production, and can therefore assist in the management of anaemia of CKD.

“Anaemia of CKD is associated with increased progression of CKD and raises the risk of cardiovascular events and mortality, yet it remains underdiagnosed and undertreated. Furthermore, currently available treatment options remain limited and often result in a conservative approach to treating the condition,” said Dr. May Hasaballah, Professor of Internal Medicine and Nephrology at Cairo University and President of the Egypt Society of Nephrology and Transplantation, “Data from clinical trials indicates that this new treatment could offer patients with anaemia of CKD in Egypt and their treating physicians with a new oral treatment option that tackles the multicausality of the disease.”

“Living with anaemia of CKD is a daily struggle. The condition is debilitating to patients and makes even the easiest tasks a challenge. This new treatment offers a completely different and cost effective approach to the management of anaemia in CKD to the current standard of care, based on Nobel Prize-winning research. More importantly, it brings hope for better outcomes and improved quality of life for patients who have been battling this condition,” said Dr. Mohamed Salah, Dean of the National Institute of Urology and Nephrology and Secretary General of the Egypt Society of Nephrology and Transplantation.

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