Kidney fibrosis, resulting from multiple factors, is the cause of end stage renal disease (ESRD) with diabetic kidney disease as the leading factor. While control of serum glucose level and control of blood pressure are effective in reducing the progression of diabetic nephropathy, renal failure remains a major health problem. Accordingly, there is a great need to provide therapies that are efficacious in preventing, slowing the progression or reversing diabetic nephropathy and kidney fibrosis.
In pre-clinical studies, Galectin Therapeutics has shown that treatment of diabetic mice with GR-MD-02 was found to reverse diabetic nephropathy. Diabetic mice developed histological findings consistent with diabetic nephropathy, consisting of glomerular lesions in the form of diffuse mesangial matrix accumulation and proliferation. The kidneys of the diabetic mice also showed fibrosis evidenced by interstitial collagen deposition. Treatment with GR-MD-02 reduced the mesangial matrix accumulation, which suggests the drug suppressed the production and/or accumulation of extracellular matrix components. Additionally, GR-MD-02 markedly reduced the area of interstitial fibrosis (see below). These results demonstrate the anti-fibrotic efficacy of GR-MD-02 in the kidney and its therapeutic potential in diabetic nephropathy as well as other chronic kidney diseases.