PRESS RELEASE – University of Kent and Pfizer research aims to develop treatment for Acute Kidney Injury

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The University of Kent is to undertake a half million pound research project with pharmaceutical company Pfizer to develop new therapies for patients who suffer Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) after kidney surgery.

Dr Claire Peppiatt-Wildman, of the Medway School of Pharmacy, will collaborate with Dr Nick Pullen at Pfizer’s US research base on the three-year research project.

It is hoped that the research will lead to a better understanding of the precise pathophysiology underlying AKI and aid the development of effective therapies.

Dr Peppiatt-Wildman said: ‘Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) is associated with mortality, increased lengths of hospitalisation, chronic morbidity and increased healthcare costs.

‘It usually results from ischemia reperfusion injury, which is encountered during surgical procedures such as kidney transplantation, in response to septic shock or severe haemorrhage in both transplanted and native kidneys.

‘The body’s immune system is known to be activated in response to, and play a role in the progression of AKI. The purpose of this collaboration is to investigate whether the body’s first line of defence acts to actually cause AKI following ischemia reperfusion injury or is activated in response to the original ischemic insult.’

Jointly run by the universities of Kent and Greenwich, Medway School of Pharmacy is based at the institutions’ shared campus at Chatham Maritime.

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