Warp Speed Nephrology Drug Development

Kenar D. Jhaveri Kenar D. Jhaveri, MD, is Editor-in-Chief of Kidney News.

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Drug discovery and development is a lengthy and expensive process. Testing new agents in humans at an early stage can reduce the time and costs involved in identifying drugs that are likely to succeed in clinical studies. Implementation of a new drug in practice also requires the development of useful biomarkers of disease and of the drug’s efficacy, as well as sensitive molecular imaging techniques.

Nephrology relied on only a handful of therapeutics during the 1970s to 2000s for managing anemia, bone-mineral disease, glomerular diseases, and transplantation-related events. In the past 2 decades, there has been a steady rise in novel therapeutics. The last 5 years saw a more rapid rise in the number of novel therapeutic targets and novel agents entering the kidney space (see Figure). The fields of oncology and cardiology have laid the path for us to follow. Targeted therapies and novel pathways along with out-of-the box thinking are required to move our field to the next level.

In this issue, along with the March 2021 issue, we take our readers to what the new therapeutics have to offer for our patients with kidney diseases. The time is now to speed up our process of offering novel agents to our patients and improve the care and outcomes of patients with kidney diseases.