Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech Walden Biosciences has teamed up with genetic data company Primula Group, to conduct a study investigating the genetics of patients living with chronic kidney disease (CKD). 

Walden will use genetic data from Primula to explore how variants in the PLAUR gene, which affects soluble urokinase plasminogen activating receptor (suPAR) levels, impact kidney function. The study aims to reveal how these variants influence the body’s protein and metabolite levels. suPAR is a protein found in kidney cells and can be used as an inflammatory biomarker. Elevated suPAR levels have been associated with an excess of protein in the urine, a decline in kidney function and eventual reduction in the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). 

Walden launched back in 2020 with $51m raised in a Series A round led by Arch and UCB Ventures. 

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company’s lead candidate is the monoclonal antibody (mAb), WAL0921. The mAb acts by binding to suPAR and inhibiting its pro-inflammatory action on certain kidney cells that cause kidney dysfunction and disease. 

The company reported positive topline data from the Phase I clinical trial (NCT05891366) with WAL0921 last month. Data from the single ascending dose study showed that WAL0921 was safe and well-tolerated, and reduced free suPAR levels in 40 healthy subjects in a dose-dependent manner.  

The company said that it plans to initiate a Phase II basket study in glomerular kidney diseases later this year. Data from that study with Primula will add to the understanding of the role that elevated suPAR levels play in kidney disease, and inform Walden’s planned Phase II study of WAL0921, said Walden’s CEO Blaine McKee.  

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

In the announcement accompanying the research collaboration, leader of the study Dipender Gill said: “The collaboration with Walden will build on earlier data supporting a causal role of suPAR in kidney disease and gives us a unique opportunity to help guide and transform the treatment of these patients, as well as identify other outcomes where targeting suPAR may be beneficial.” 

Kidney disease refers to any condition that affects the function of the kidneys. Kidney disease can progress to kidney failure when the organs lose their ability to effectively filter waste products and excess fluids from the blood. According to a report on GlobalData’s Pharma Intelligence Center, there will be more than 20.3 million cases of kidney failure by 2028 globally.  

GlobalData is the parent company of Pharmaceutical Technology.