NEW YORK, April 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is honoring Relypsa, Inc. with its first-ever Corporate Innovator Award in recognition of the biopharmaceutical company's breakthrough development of Veltassa, the first new hyperkalemia (high-potassium) treatment medicine approved by the FDA in over 50 years. This new drug will offer an additional treatment option for patients with kidney failure who have high potassium levels.
The National Kidney Foundation believes that having more choices for managing underlying conditions related to kidney disease (secondary hyperparathyroidism, anemia, etc.) is better for doctors and patients. "NKF has traditionally recognized individuals for research, education, and service to the kidney health community, but there are also organizations in the business sector that drive change," said NKF CEO Kevin Longino. "This award acknowledges Relypsa's important contributions toward improving treatment and care of people with kidney disease."
"It is a great honor to have been selected to receive the NKF's first Corporate Innovator Award," said Lance Berman, M.D., chief medical officer of Relypsa. "We focus our efforts on improving the lives of people with hyperkalemia, and we are especially proud to be recognized by the very foundation which represents so many of these patients."
The award will be presented to Dr. Berman at the NKF 2016 Spring Clinical Meetings, the Foundation's annual kidney treatment educational convention, taking place in Boston April 27-May 1.
Hyperkalemia is common among people receiving kidney dialysis and people taking certain medications for kidney disease. Normal levels of potassium are needed for the functioning of the heart, nerves, and muscles. High levels of potassium can lead to heart rhythm problems that can be fatal. Healthy kidneys normally filter out extra potassium from the body. In patients with elevated potassium levels, clinical trials have shown Veltassa binds to potassium in exchange for calcium, primarily in the colon, and the potassium is then excreted from the body through the normal excretion process.
One in 9 people in the US have kidney disease, and one in three people are at risk for it. Over 400,000 people live on dialysis in the U.S. The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease for patients and their families, healthcare professionals, and people at risk. For more information, visit www.kidney.org.
Relypsa, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of polymeric medicines for patients with conditions that are often overlooked and undertreated and can be addressed in the gastrointestinal tract. The Company's first medicine, Veltassa® (patiromer) for oral suspension, was developed based on Relypsa's rich legacy in polymer science. Veltassa is approved in the United States for the treatment of hyperkalemia. Veltassa has intellectual property protection until 2030 in the United States and 2029 in the European Union. More information is available at www.relypsa.com.
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SOURCE National Kidney Foundation