New Treatment for Hyperkalemia Shows Promise

Topic: Cardiorenal Diseases date: 07/22/2015 Featured Expert: George L. Bakris, MD

A promising new treatment for hyperkalemia may address an unmet need for better treatments...

Hyperkalemia is a serious clinical challenge in patients with chronic cardiometabolic diseases and comorbidities, and there is currently a large unmet need for better treatments. A study just published in JAMA has shown that patients suffering from hyperkalemia and diabetic kidney disease showed significant decreases in serum potassium levels when treated with patiromer, a new drug by Relypsa Inc. awaiting FDA approval later this year. (Only one FDA-approved treatment option for hyperkalemia currently exists.) These decreases in potassium were evident after only 4 weeks of treatment, and, importantly, lasted 52 weeks afterward. Dr. George L. Bakris, a professor of medicine at the University of Chicago who led the study, will be chairing the 10th Annual Cardiometabolic Health Congress sessions and the CME symposium, “New Insights into the Prevention and Clinical Management of Hyperkalemia,” being held in Boston October 21-24, 2015. Hyperkalemia, characterized by dangerously high potassium levels, is potentially life threatening and most often seen in patients treated with RAAS inhibitors who have stage 3 or greater chronic kidney disease who may also have diabetes, heart failure, or both.

Advances in Heart Failure
Also of note, the first of a new class of drugs known as angiotensin receptor neprolysin inhibitors (ARNIs) has received FDA approval for patients with heart failure after showing a significant mortality benefit compared with an ACE inhibitor. Dr. Clyde W. Yancy will be speaking about this eagerly awaited new option and other novel HF therapies at the 10th Annual CMHC, joining an expert panel on Friday, October 23.

Reference: Bakris GL, et al. Effect of patiromer on serum potassium level in patients with hyperkalemia and diabetic kidney disease. The AMETHYST-DN Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2015;314:151-161.