Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic condition affecting about 12 million people worldwide.

Polycystic kidney disease is currently incurable; end-stage kidney failure requires treatment with dialysis or a kidney transplantation to prolong the life of PKD patients. But such methods are not available to everyone.

Research scientists from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center released the outcomes of the experiment of a new drug significantly improving the state of the PKD patients. The main problem of PKD is that the kidneys enlarge and lose their function over time. Testing of a new drug in mice showed that the size of polycystic kidneys has reduced by about half.

A mechanism of the drug’s action is based on the blockade of miRNA-17 that interferes in normal “work” of other RNAs provoking the growth of cysts, American scientists explain.

After successful animal tests run last year, the new drug is currently being estimated in terms of safety in humans, after that in case of positive outcomes, the researchers will be able to start clinical trials.

Doctors expect that the use of the drug will reduce the need for transplants, since even the transplantation doesn't give a 100% guarantee when the body rejects the “alien” kidney.

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