Defymed®’s bio-artificial medical devices could be easily extended to other cell-therapy applications, as for kidney diseases where these medical devices could be combined to renal tubule cells that mimics the metabolic and water-balance roles of the human kidney; and liver disease where our medical devices could be combined to hepatocytes.
Chronic kidney failure affects more than 500,000 people per year in the United States alone and is only fully treated with a kidney transplant. Yet there were only 17,000 donated kidneys for transplants last year and the number of patients on the transplant waiting list currently exceeds 85,000, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network.
When the kidneys fail, dangerous levels of waste products build in the blood. To stay alive, patients need dialysis, or artificial filtration of the blood.
However, dialysis isn’t a perfect solution for kidney failure. Though the treatment removes a good portion of waste and toxins, it can’t replace many of the other functions normally performed by the kidneys. Eventually, patients may require a kidney transplant. However, there aren’t enough donor kidneys to meet the needs of those who need them. Researchers estimate, annually, 25 percent of those on chronic dialysis therapy die.
Thus, the bio-artificial kidney would be a valuable solution to treat acute and chronic renal failure in order to compensate the lack of available kidneys.
The liver controls or affects almost every aspect of metabolism and most physiologic regulatory processes in the human body. Therefore, a global loss of liver function is fatal. Acute liver failure may be caused by viruses, alcohol, ischemic insult, ingestion of common analgesic medications and cancer. It develops either: 1) in the absence of previous liver disease (the majority of these patients will die, unless they undergo liver transplantation; only a small percentage of these patients will recover and subsequently have normal liver function); or 2) as an acute exacerbation of a chronic underlying condition (patients will often respond to treatment of the precipitating cause of the acute exacerbation; if therapy is not effective or the extent of liver destruction irreparable, they can succumb due to sepsis, hemorrhage and development of multiple organ failure).
Liver failure represents a grave medical condition. An estimated 10-20 million hospitalizable episodes of liver failure occur worldwide each year. Mortality rates for patients with liver failure can reach 90% in certain segments of the patient population, and resulting in 1-2 million deaths worldwide per year. The current standard of care for liver failure involves administration of antibiotics, intravenous fluid and blood products. However, no direct pharmaceutical therapies currently exist. The most reliably curative therapy is liver transplantation, which is costly, limited by the number of available organs and unavailable to a large majority of patients.
Thus a bio-artificial liver is being developed as one of the most promising therapies to treat liver failure in the future and will target the following cases: