Leading Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health Nephrologists Are Principal Investigators in Clinical Trial of New Medication to Treat Children with Rare Kidney Diseases

Only Pediatric Health Care Network in New Jersey in the Study

Rare Kidney Disease

Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health is the only pediatric health care network in New Jersey undertaking a new study that examines the effectiveness of the drug sparsentan to treat rare kidney diseases in children. Chief pediatric nephrologists and Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine professors Ken Lieberman, M.D., and Guillermo Hidalgo, M.D., F.A.S.N, are the study’s principal investigators.

The “Study of Sparsentan Treatment in Pediatrics with Proteinuric Glomerular Diseases (EPPIK)” is open to pediatric nephrology patients throughout New Jersey at both Hackensack Meridian Children’s Hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

This EPPIK study is investigating the medication to treat three specific proteinuric diseases — steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome, Alport syndrome, and IgA nephropathy. These diseases typically develop in children or young adults, cause progressive loss of kidney function, and result in end-stage kidney disease.

Proteinuric kidney diseases are rare and result in a condition called proteinuria, or too much protein in the urine, which can affect kidney function. Up until now the three conditions have been treated with other classes of medications, including immunosuppressive drugs, sometimes for extended periods of time.

Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health researchers have participated in two previously published studies of sparsentan, which is manufactured by Travere Therapeutics. This latest EPPIK trial is the first to be a 100-percent pediatric study. This trial joins our other trials currently enrolling or in the process of being opened for: anemia in chronic kidney disease and atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome.

“These conditions have the likelihood of progressing to irreversible kidney failure, and previous treatments have not been successful,” said Dr. Lieberman. “The EPPIK trial gives pediatric kidney disease patients throughout New Jersey access to a promising new treatment before it is available to the public.”

“Living with a rare, complex kidney disease is challenging not just for children, but for their families, too,” said Dr. Hidalgo. “Through clinical trials like EPPIK, our goal is to advance the standard of care for proteinuric kidney disease and offer hope through novel treatments.”

Learn more about our advancements in pediatric nephrology.

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