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Can we support new approaches to kidney care by looking more closely at personalised care? The NURTuRE perspective

27 March 2024

At the well-attended Advanced Therapies 2024 meeting on 20 March at ExCel London, Michael Nation, Director of NURTuRE, shared Kidney Research UK’s plans to advance approaches to precision medicine through innovation and collaboration.

Drawing on the stark findings in Kidney Research UK’s recent report, Michael reinforced the urgent need for new and improved approaches for prevention, identification and management of kidney diseases. He noted that more than 10% of the UK population is estimated to have kidney disease; a figure that is expected to increase. He highlighted that rare diseases, including at least 150 mainly inherited disorders, are an important contributor to the burden of kidney diseases and present particular challenges in diagnosis and treatment for both patients and healthcare providers. 

Driving progress for the future with NURTuRE

Michael noted that use of biological samples (such as blood and urine), alongside information from medical records with all personally identifiable details removed, can provide an important way of meeting this need by providing researchers with a way of finding new insights into the role of changes to our genetic material (DNA) in disease, speeding up the search for more effective, personalised approaches to diagnosis and treatment. 

NURTuRE was highlighted as a key way of enabling this type of research. Containing a rich library of linked-up biological samples, genetic information and carefully protected medical information generously donated by 3,000 patients living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and 740 with idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (INS), NURTuRE is a unique resource for new research designed to benefit patients. 

Designed in partnership with patients, academic researchers and pharmaceuticals companies, NURTuRE works alongside Kidney Research UK’s research grant funding and partnership programmes to bring much-needed benefits to the kidney patient community.  

Man wearing glasses standing at a presentation lecturn
Michael Nation at Advanced Therapies 2024

Introducing NURTuRE 

NURTuRE contains information from patients living with different types of kidney disease in the UK, providing a unique resource to support and accelerate important new research. To date, patients diagnosed with CKD and INS have been recruited, and this will soon be extended to patients with acute kidney injury (AKI). 

This type of collection of samples for research is known as a ‘biobank’. In addition to samples of plasma, serum, urine, DNA and tissue, NURTuRE will link to long-term clinical (healthcare) data, through the UK Renal Registry and NHS Digital. The information in NURTuRE will support crucial new research, offering hope to many patients living with kidney diseases. 

Researchers will be able to apply for access to the samples and data held in NURTuRE from mid 2024, via the NURTuRE website. 

Working together to support progress for patients

Michael shared Kidney Research UK’s commitment to developing new approaches to kidney care by supporting ways to bring ideas and innovations to reach patients faster, highlighting our work with PureSpring Therapeutics and our Open Door programme. We would like to thank anyone who talked to the team at our stand and encourage anyone who would like to work with us in this area to contact us. 

"With resources like NURTuRE, healthcare professionals can work towards a more preventative and personalised approach, delivering better outcomes and quality of life for patients with kidney diseases." Michael Nation

We’d also like to thank Advanced Therapies for inviting us to participate in this event and look forward to next year. 

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