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Kidney organoids: modelling kidney injury and preclinical drug testing

41 months
Approved budget:
Professor Alan Davidson
Health issue:
Renal and urogenital
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Kidney disease is major health issue in New Zealand with an estimated 1:10 people having some degree of chronic kidney disease. The development of new therapies has been hampered by a lack of human cell-based models in the laboratory with which to test new drugs. We have overcome these barriers by developing a novel method to make human kidney organoids (mini kidneys grown in a petri dish) using stem cells. In addition, we have identified a class of compounds, PTBAs, that can reduce kidney injury and promote repair in animal models of kidney damage. In this proposal, we will combine these technologies by inducing kidney injury in the organoids and using this system to identify the most therapeutically active PTBA variant. These preclinical experiments will lay the groundwork for initiating human clinical trials with PTBAs in the future.