Sphingotec's penKid is a reliable marker for detection and monitoring of acute kidney injury

Diagnostics company SphingoTec GmbH ("sphingotec", Hennigsdorf Germany) today reported on the publication of novel study results of its proprietary kidney function biomarker penKid® in BMC Emergency Medicine. The data from a prospective study enrolling 588 septic patients demonstrate that penKid® accurately predicted acute kidney injury (AKI), multiorgan failure (MOF) and mortality in unselected sepsis patients at presentation to the emergency department (ED). Furthermore, increasing penKid® blood levels indicated worsening kidney function.

While organ dysfunction is a hallmark of sepsis, the renal system is being particularly susceptible. One in two patients with septic shock develop AKI and are at increased risk of both severe morbidity and higher mortality. In the current study, the admission levels of penKid® and serum creatinine (SCr) were corelated with patient outcomes. SCr is the current diagnostic standard and is used to calculate the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), a surrogate parameter quantifying kidney function. In the study, elevated penKid® blood levels at admission predicted all septic patients who developed AKI. Furthermore, high penKid® levels independently from eGFR, identified patients with subclinical AKI at ED admission, who could not be identified by SCr values. penKid® also predicted multiorgan failure and 28-day mortality.

Previously published clinical data from patients with sepsis admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) have provided evidence, that elevated blood levels of penKid® at admission predict AKI, worsening kidney function, organ failure and mortality independently from inflammation and other co-morbidities. The new results demonstrate that penKid® can also identify AKI patients in a routine ED setting, in which therapy decision making is currently delayed due to the fact that eGFR assessment requires serial measurements and creatinine metabolism is affected by inflammation, fluid overload and the use of nephrotoxic agents. Based on the study results, penKid® is a reliable marker for the detection and monitoring of subclinical AKI.

These study results demonstrate for the first time that penKid® provides physicians at the emergency department with urgently needed information, which is complementary to the current diagnostic toolbox and enables the detection of AKI, particularly in patients with hidden AKI risk. To support timely treatment decisions that are likely to improve outcomes in critical care patient, we will launch in Q1-2020 a fully automated CE-IVD-marked point-of-care penKid® assay on the established Nexus IB10 platform."

Dr. Andreas Bergmann, founder and CEO of sphingotec

Journal reference:

Rosenqvist, M., et al. (2019) Proenkephalin a 119–159 (penKid) – a novel biomarker for acute kidney injury in sepsis: an observational study. BMC Emergency Medicine. doi.org/10.1186/s12873-019-0283-9.


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