Novartis reaffirms its ongoing commitment to improving transplant patients’ lives

February 24, 2014 2:27 pm

Novartis, world specialist and innovator in developing treatments for nephrology and neurology diseases, announced a new kidney transplantation protocol that aims to lengths the life expectancy of a transplanted kidney.

The new protocol was demonstrated during the “Tiny Tim Nephrology” workshop organized by the Lebanese Society of Nephrology and Hypertension and headed by Professor Lionel Rostaing, Consultant Nephrologist, Immunologist, Head Department of Nephrology, Dialysis and Organ Transplantation at Toulouse University Hospital.

The new treatment is a shift in paradigm towards better long-term outcomes instead of short-term benefits of the current protocols. “The life expectancy of the transplanted kidney increases through immune system prevention, reduced drugs toxicity and absence of antiviral effect,” said Prof. Lionel Rostaing. “It is very important to tell patients that their immunosuppressive regimen is not nephrotoxic, that is, it will have minimal side-effects, and that it will not be associated with chronic allograft nephropathy. Moreover, the immunosuppressive protocol decreases the viral infection and might also decrease the rate of post-transplant cancers.”

It’s worth mentioning that the new treatment has been enrolled in a global clinical trial (TRANSFORM) which is the largest trial in the kidney transplantation field worldwide on 2000 patients to further substantiate this concept. The TRANSFORM trial is the first ever kidney transplantation study to evaluate the short and long term patient outcome benefits using an innovative and novel endpoint that combines renal function and graft outcome.

“Novartis has been a leading innovator in the transplant field for over 30 years, and this new treatment for kidney transplantation marks an important milestone for patients and their transplant physicians,” said Mohammad Rammal, Head of Levant Countries at Novartis Pharma Services Inc. “This new protocol will further highlight Novartis’ continued commitment to developing innovative solutions that advance the care of transplant patients.”

The President of the Lebanese Society of Nephrology and Hypertension Dr. Jose E. Khabouth indicated that “besides, of course, the medical tests related to matching the donor/patient’s kidney, an important hope has come, today there is no age limitation for kidney donors. The recent studies have proven that good general health and social well-functioning can be achieved also among recipients of organs from older donors. Thus, age alone should not be a barrier to organ donation, providing that the organ function is normal and that specific disease is absent in the organ.”

“A lot has been done recently to assure long term benefits after Kidney Transplant (KT),” said Dr. Dania Nehme Chelala, Head of Nephrology Division at Hotel Dieu de France Hospital – Saint Joseph University. “The introduction of several immunosuppressive agents over the past decade has reduced the rate of acute rejection, improved the short-term renal allograft survival, helped in the prevention and the treatment of infections and controlled cardiovascular risk factors.”

From his side, Dr. Hilal Abou Zeinab, Medical Director of Transplant Unit at Hammoud Hospital University Medical Center, said, “For most patients with kidney failure, kidney transplantation has the greatest potential for restoring a healthy, productive life. However, finding donor is one of the most challenging factors in this field, we aim to do only patient with negative lymphocyte cross match with the donor and this is not difficult to be found but complete HLA matching is rare.”

The landmark TRANSFORM trial is an innovative long-term outcomes study with the potential to change the treatment paradigm for preventing rejection in de novo (first-time) kidney transplant recipients. For the transplant patient, it is no longer just about surviving; it is about living a long and fulfilling life thanks to improved outcomes (reduced risk of mortality and cardiovascular (CV) events, and improved quality of life).

Novartis is committed to improving the lives of patients in the long-term through investment in innovative clinical trials like TRANSFORM, which it is hoped to be at the forefront of the next major evolutionary shift in transplantation.

For additional information, please contact:

Carmen El Hajj / Maya Kerbage
Memac Ogilvy PR
Tel: +961 1 486 066
Fax: +961 1 486 064