VANCOUVER, Feb. 11, 2016 /CNW/ – Today the Centre of Excellence for the Prevention of Organ Failure (PROOF Centre) announced a new partnership with AstraZeneca and the Canadian Study of Prediction of Death, Dialysis and Interim Cardiovascular Events (CanPREDDICT) to develop a blood test to predict the rate of disease progression in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

For the discovery phase of the project, PROOF Centre and AstraZeneca researchers will leverage the large cohort and rich clinical data available from the CanPREDDICT study. The collective team of clinical, computational, technical and biological experts will use the PROOF Centre’s computationally-driven omics biomarker development pipeline to identify genomic and proteomic biomarkers that can discriminate patients who have rapid versus slow CKD progression. The PROOF Centre will support the analysis process from front-end experimental design to downstream statistical and biological analysis.

“Biomarkers to better predict disease progression will be a valuable tool to provide more personalized care for patients suffering from CKD. If developed as a blood test that corresponds to different patient trajectories, it will offer clinicians a better way of knowing which patients need more intensive medical attention and management,” says CanPREDDICT lead investigator and Head of UBC Division of Nephrology, Dr. Adeera Levin.

Thus, a prognostic test will enable clinicians to more aggressively manage CKD in patients expected to rapidly decline, potentially delaying end-stage renal disease. Patients whose kidney function is predicted to stay stable or improve can be monitored less frequently, saving health care dollars.

Such a test won’t only benefit patient care, it will also be extremely valuable for the research and drug development community.

“Chronic kidney disease is a strategically important research area for AstraZeneca. Knowing which patients with this disease are likely to face rapid decline and which ones are not, is a major hurdle in clinical trials for new therapeutics,” Dr. Peter Greasley, Director Clinical Research at AstraZeneca explains. “More than 80% of AstraZeneca’s portfolio across small and large molecules has a personalised healthcare approach and biomarkers identified in this collaboration will enable patient stratification that in turn may reduce the time, number of patients, and costs needed for such trials.”

“We are pleased to partner with AstraZeneca and CanPREDDICT in an exciting effort to develop new biomarker tools that will have a major impact in drug development and patient care,” says Dr. Bruce McManus, CEO of the PROOF Centre.

“This collaboration will lay the groundwork for improving clinical care for CKD patients by expediting the drug-development process, reducing disease-related uncertainty for patients and their physicians, and allowing for trajectory-specific management strategies—ultimately reducing health care costs and improving patients’ quality of life,” says McManus.

“Today’s announcement builds on our deep commitment to both improving care and supporting leading-edge Canadian health sciences leadership in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases,” said Neil Maresky, VP of Scientific Affairs, AstraZeneca Canada. “We are proud to support work that promises to create meaningful advances in the treatment of chronic kidney disease for patients around the world, and excited that this research is being led right here in Canada.”

About Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD):

CKD is a major global public health issue. One in 10 adults have some degree of kidney function decline, and CKD is estimated to affect 3 million Canadians. Rates are expected to increase, largely due to the growth of diabetes and hypertension1. Identifying and understanding the risk factors for disease progression is a major challenge in CKD research, drug development, and clinical care. While some people face a slow progression of the disease, others rapidly decline, leading to end-stage renal disease and often require dialysis or transplantation. Predicting how a patient’s disease will progress is difficult, making it a challenge for physicians to determine the best course of treatment for each patient.

About the Centre of Excellence for the Prevention of Organ Failure:

The Centre of Excellence for the Prevention of Organ Failure (PROOF Centre) develops actionable blood tests to better predict, diagnose, manage and treat heart, lung and kidney disease. The PROOF Centre is a cross-disciplinary biosignature development engine of partners representing academia, health care, government, industry, patients and the public, convened to improve heart, lung and kidney health and reduce the enormous socioeconomic burden of organ disease. The Centre’s service arm provides expertise in patient cohort assembly, computation, “-omic” science and biomarker workflow to organizations seeking to discover, develop and implement blood-based molecular biomarkers in a clinical setting. The PROOF Centre is a not-for-profit society initially established by the Networks of Centres of Excellence Secretariat under the Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (NCE CECR) Program, and is co-hosted by the University of British Columbia and Providence Health Care in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


The Canadian Study of Prediction of Death, Dialysis and Interim Cardiovascular Events (CanPREDDICT) is a large, prospective, pan-Canadian, cohort study designed to improve the understanding of determinants of renal and cardiovascular (CV) disease progression in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Commenced in 2008, 2546 patients have been enrolled from a representative sample in 25 rural, urban, academic and non-academic centres across Canada2. Patients were followed for an initial 3 years at 6 monthly intervals, and then annually up to 5 years. The primary objective is to clarify the associations between traditional and newer biomarkers in the prediction of specific renal and CV events, and of death in patients with CKD managed by nephrologists. This information could then be used to better understand biological variation in outcomes, to develop clinical prediction models and to inform enrolment into interventional studies which may lead to novel treatments.

About AstraZeneca:

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit:

1 Barbour, S.J., et al., A systematic review of ethnic differences in the rate of renal progression in CKD patients. Nephrol Dial Transplant, 2010. 25(8): p. 2422-30.

2 Levin, A., et al., Cohort profile: Canadian study of prediction of death, dialysis and interim cardiovascular events (CanPREDDICT).BMC nephrology,2010. 14(1): p. 121-32.