22 Jun Study Finds Novel Difelikefalin (Korsuva) Stops the Itch of Chronic Kidney Disease
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Gil Yosipovitch, MD, Professor
Miami Itch Center
Lennar Medical Foundation
South Miami Clinic in Coral Gables
University of Miami Health System
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Chronic Pruritus is a common and burdensome condition in patients with end stage chronic kidney disease (CKD). It is Present at all stages of CKD, not only in patients undergoing hemodialysis (including stage 3-5 CKD). There are no approved treatments for this condition in US and Europe. CKD pruritus has significant impact on quality of life of patients with higher mortality rates due to its effect on sleep.
Studies in the last 2 decades have shown that in patients with CKD pruritus there is an imbalance between endogenous mu opioids that are over expressed to Kappa Opioids that are down regulated.
Difelikefalin (DFK) is a novel peripherally selective kappa opioid receptor (KOR) agonist. Study of IV DFK administration in hemodialysis patients has recently been published and showed significant anti Pruritic effect ( NEJM Fishbane et al. 382: 289-290, 2020).
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: In the current study oral formulations were tested in a randomized phase 2 study in pruritic patients with CKD ( 3-5) the majority were not on hemodialysis.
DFK 1.0 mg met the primary endpoint, demonstrating significantly greater improvement in Worst Itch (WI)-NRS vs placebo in patients with CKD Treatment effect emerged at week 2 and persisted through 12 weeks the end of the study.
A significantly greater proportion of patients achieved complete response with DFK vs placebo the drug was well tolerated with an excellent safety profile.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: That there is hope for our CKD patients who suffer from chronic pruritus. Kappa Opioid such as DFK seems very promising due to its high efficacy and safety profile.
This treatment would not just be exclusively for HD patients but for other CKD patients who have moderate to severe itch ( this unmet population of CKD patients has never been = be treated in clinical trials )
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: To conduct trials with this drug for other chronic itch conditions with severe itch as the imbalance of mu and kappa opioids is known to occur in chronic itch in multiple diseases. For example in chronic liver disease itch. There is also a possibility that it could be helpful for patients with skin diseases with chronic itch and in itchy conditions like Chronic itch of unknown origin.
Disclosures: I received consulting fees and served as an investigator for Trevi Therapeutics and CARA both develop Kappa Opioids.
AAD Virtual Meeting 2020
- Efficacy and Safety of Oral Difelikefalin in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients with Moderate-to-Severe Pruritus: A Randomised, Placebo-Controlled, Phase 2 Trial: Gil Yosipovitch, MD
The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.