- Analysis includes data from UK Kidney Association (UKKA) on 9,388 COVID-19 cases among kidney patients in the UK of which 924 were fatal (Dec 2020 to March 2022)
- The analyses underline the need for additional protection of dialysis and kidney transplant patients
- Results published in peer-reviewed journal Transplantation
- A significant unmet medical need persists to protect kidney patients, as well as other immunocompromised patients, as they may not mount proper antibody responses to COVID-19 vaccination
Hellerup, Denmark, 2 January 2023 – UNION therapeutics A/S, a privately held, multi-asset, clinical stage, pharmaceutical development company focused on immunology and infectious diseases, announced today that results of an epidemiological analysis using nationwide UK Kidney Association registry data on COVID-19 cases and COVID-19-associated mortality in dialysis and kidney transplant patients have been published in the peer-reviewed journal Transplantation. The analysis showed that two groups of immunocompromised patients (kidney patients on dialysis and kidney transplant patients) remain at increased risk of succumbing to COVID-19 despite all available countermeasures, including vaccination. This underlines the need for additional protection for this vulnerable population.
It was established early in the pandemic that immunocompromised COVID-19 patients had higher mortality compared to otherwise healthy COVID-19 patients. In this publication, COVID-19 case fatality rates and mortality rates for dialysis and kidney transplant patients have been calculated and compared to the age-matched general population throughout the pandemic (December 2020 to March 2022).
The analysis confirmed that for both dialysis and kidney transplant patients, COVID-19 excess mortality and case fatality rate were highest prior to and during the first vaccination roll-out (Alpha wave) and decreased during the Delta wave. However, interestingly, this decrease in excess mortality and case fatality rate was substantially lower for kidney transplant patients than in the general population. Among kidney transplant patients, the case fatality rate decreased from 1 to 5 during the Alpha wave to 1 to 10 during the Delta wave, whereas the decrease in case fatality rate in the general population was from 1 to 20 during the Alpha wave to 1 to 200 during the Delta wave. In the Omicron wave in early 2022, COVID-19 excess mortality rates remained high, being 7 times higher for dialysis patients and 6 times higher for kidney transplant patients relative to an age-matched group in the general population.
Despite a decline in case fatality rate throughout the pandemic, case fatality rates were 3 times higher in dialysis patients compared to the general population in the Omicron wave. Moreover, 1 in 20 kidney transplant patients who were infected with COVID-19 died during the period from December 2021 and March 2022, whereas it was only fatal to 1:330 in the general population.
UNION is developing niclosamide nasal spray as a potential first-in-class prophylactic agent for immunocompromised patients to prevent COVID-19 infection. Niclosamide is currently being tested in a Phase 2/3 platform sponsored study by University of Cambridge.
Kim Kjøller, Chief Executive Officer of UNION therapeutics said:
“There are many immunocompromised patients that are at high risk for contracting COVID-19 and experience a more severe disease cause. Being immunocompromised typically both results in more severe cause of infectious disease, and likewise unfortunately suboptimal response to vaccination which often also wanes rapidly. The analysis based on nationwide UK Kidney Association registry data published in the Transplantation journal underscores the need to continuously protect immunocompromised patients especially during pandemics.”
Morten Boesen, Chief Financial Officer, UNION therapeutics A/S
+45 2381 5487
Sarah Toft-Jørgensen, Director of Communications and IR, UNION therapeutics A/S
+45 5385 3044
About UNION therapeutics
UNION therapeutics is a privately held, multi-asset, clinical stage, pharmaceutical development company focused on immunology and infectious diseases. The company is currently working with two complementary chemistry classes, spanning immunology and microbiology with multiple candidates in clinical development. UNION is headquartered in Hellerup, Denmark, and led by an international team combining biotech entrepreneurs and seasoned pharma executives, with a track record of developing and launching more than fifteen marketed drugs. Read more at http://www.uniontherapeutics.com