Acute kidney injury affects 1 in 3 patients in intensive care units (ICU). Timely information on kidney function is therefore of high importance to early initiate nephron-protective strategies. Existing creatinine-based estimations of the glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) routinely used in critical care settings are unspecific, error-prone and have a substantial time delay. An emerging body of evidence demonstrates that the biomarker proenkephalin, detectable with the IB10 sphingotest® penKid® overcomes these limitations by indirectly measuring the levels of the kidney stimulating hormone enkephalin which reflects the true glomerular filtration rate (true GFR). Measuring penKid® levels reveals kidney function in real-time and offers a blood-based alternative for the in vivo measurement of true GFR.
Independent of comorbidities and the frequently occurring inflammation in critically ill patients, rising penKid® blood levels (1) predict acute kidney injury up to 48 hours earlier than todays standard of care and decreasing levels (2) show the normalization of kidney function.
In critical care settings, one of the main causes of organ failure and ultimately mortality is loss of endothelial function, which is associated with leakage of blood vessels. Although the symptoms of loss of endothelial functions are well-known, there are currently no simple, blood-based detection methods established for monitoring the worsening and improvement of endothelial function. bio-ADM® can easily be measured in the blood enabling the assessment of the endothelial function up to 48 hours before the symptoms become visible. Regular assessment of the bio-ADM® levels allows for the monitoring of critically ill patients.
Elevated bio-ADM® blood levels predict both blood pressure drop resulting in shock as well as leaky vessels leading to the formation of edema (1a). Decreasing levels of bio-ADM® reflect an improvement of the endothelial function, which is closely associated with the patients clinical condition(1b).
Recently, a so far unknown disease mechanism leading to short-term organ failure was identified. According to the new findings, the release of the cardiac depressant factor Dipeptidyl-peptidase 3 (DPP3) into the bloodstream plays a major role in sudden loss of heart function.
DPP3 is a natural enzyme that plays a vital role in the recycling of cellular proteins. When massive, uncontrolled cell death occurs, for example, in major surgeries, cardiogenic shock, sepsis, or burns, DPP3 is released into the bloodstream, having a toxic-like effect on the human biology. This is because in the bloodstream, DPP3 inactivates angiotensin II, a hormone that is important for the heart function. This inactivation is leading to hemodynamic instability and consequently cardiac depression.
High or rising DPP3 blood levels(1) indicate worsening of the patients status that can lead to short-term organ failure and death. On the other hand, decreasing DPP3 levels(2) indicate a substantially reduced mortality risk.
SphingoTec GmbH develops innovative biomarkers for diagnosis, prediction and monitoring of acute medical conditions, such as acute heart failure, acute kidney injury and circulatory shock, in order to support patient management and provide guidance for treatment strategies. Furthermore, sphingotec develops biomarkers for the prediction of health risks, such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases and breast cancer, in order to support prevention strategies.
SphingoTec GmbH was established in 2002 and is located in Hennigsdorf near Berlin, Germany. CEO Dr. Andreas Bergmann was one of the founders of B.R.A.H.M.S. AG. As former Chief Research Officer, he was responsible for the development of the “gold standard” sepsis biomarker Procalcitonin (B.R.A.H.M.S. PCT™).