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Nov 24, 2008
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Relypsa: Polymer protection

Elevated blood potassium, or hyperkalemia, is a potentially fatal drug-related adverse event in patients with chronic kidney disease being treated with drugs for other diseases such as heart failure and high blood pressure. Relypsa Inc. believes its polymer-based compounds that bind potassium in the gastrointestinal tract will allow patients who have CKD and heart failure to maintain optimal dosing of other medications.

Hyperkalemia is usually caused by decreased renal potassium excretion due to renal failure and decreased glomerular filtration rate. It is exacerbated by drugs that interfere with potassium excretion, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs).

Because the kidneys of these patients can't manage potassium levels, they are often forced to reduce the doses of other medications, leaving them vulnerable to cardiovascular events.

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