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Research Point to Enzyme that Restores Function in Diabetic Kidney Disease

Published: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Last Updated: Sunday, December 15, 2013
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Data on recent kidney metabolomics findings discussed at the American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week Meeting.

ClinMet announced that researchers from The University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and colleagues have published new findings that could fundamentally change understanding of how diabetes-related diseases develop – and how they might be better treated. A prevailing theory suggests that mitochondrial function is overactive in diabetes and leads to complications such as kidney, eye, nerve and possibly cardiovascular disease. However, these new studies suggest that real-time production of superoxide – a marker of mitochondrial activity – is actually reduced, rather than elevated, in diabetic kidney disease and potentially other organs as well. Furthermore, stimulating mitochondrial production, function and superoxide levels led to improvement in diabetic kidney disease.

The new research, authored by UC San Diego professor and ClinMet scientific founder, Kumar Sharma, M.D., F.A.H.A (Director of the Center for Renal Translational Medicine, Division of Nephrology-Hypertension and the Institute of Metabolomic Medicine) and colleagues, was published online on October 25 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. ClinMet has an exclusive license to use kidney metabolomics findings by Dr. Sharma and his team in drug development and other applications, based on patents filed by UC San Diego.

“These new data suggest that a major theory on the role of mitochondrial function in diabetic complications has to be questioned,” said Dr. Sharma. “In particular, our findings that an increase in mitochondrial function and superoxide production is associated with improvement in diabetic complications suggest that approaches to stimulate mitochondrial function may be beneficial as a new treatment for diabetic complications.”

“These key insights from a translational research perspective strongly support important concepts identified via metabolomics studies, as illustrated by Dr. Sharma’s publication earlier this month in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. They point to the utility of metabolomics technology, like that offered by ClinMet, to gain new insights about disease that can be further confirmed through translational animal studies,” commented Yesh Subramanian, President, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of ClinMet.

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