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Kidney advocates launch $10.25 million effort to examine cause of kidney failure
Date:9/22/2009

University of Michigan Health System researchers will lead a $10.25 million effort to study rare kidney diseases that cause kidney failure and the need for dialysis.

The five-year project supports research of nephrotic syndrome, which describes a group of diseases that, though rare, generates an enormous individual and societal burden. The syndrome, which affects kidney filter cells, contributes to nearly 12 percent of cases of kidney failure, and an annual cost of more than $3 billion.

The Nephrotic Syndrome Rare Disease Consortium will bring together a network of investigators from the United States and Canada, and two highly active patient interest groups, the Nephcure Foundation and the Halpin Foundation, to create a network for collecting patient information, facilitating clinical and observational studies and training future researchers.

The National Institutes of Health Office of Rare Diseases, the National Institutes of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease awarded a $6.25 million grant to the U-M, with NephCure committing $2 million and U-M contributing a total of $2 million.

NephCure, a Pennsylvania-based patient advocacy and research funding organization, will continue to have a role in recruiting and educating patients. NephCure has contributed more than $6 million to research over the past several years.

"The kidney community has had a strong interest in this work for a long time, but, until now, we have not had adequate funding for a coordinated effort," says project director Matthias Kretzler, M.D., professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School and a nephrologist at the U-M Health system.

"This has the potential to change the way we understand and treat patients with nephrotic syndrome," he says. "NephCure's support was critically important in winning this award and will be vital to our long term success."

Kretzler, along with U-M medical school researchers Akinlolu O
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Contact: Shantell M. Kirkendoll
smkirk@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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