July 26, 2022

Article at Corinna on Authory

The science behind NaviDKD™

For Journey Biosciences --

NaviDKD differs from other diabetes lab screens in one revolutionary way: It enables you to look ahead. The resulting individualized NaviDKD Compass Report rates your likelihood of developing kidney complications from diabetes — before any symptoms appear — and provides recommendations for the most effective follow-up care. This gives you and your healthcare provider a useful tool for proactively managing your health.

How does NaviDKD work?

With NaviDKD, your blood sample is analyzed for the levels of specific Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). This information, along with your A1C results and selected other risk factors, is used to calculate your individual risk level for developing kidney complications.

Everyone has AGEs in their body. They are the result of glucose in the bloodstream combining with protein or fat. This process is called glycation. AGEs are also present in some of the foods we eat, including meat, dairy, some oils, fried foods, and foods cooked using high heat when sugars are present.

Why are AGEs important in determining my risk of developing diabetic kidney disease?

High levels of AGEs in the body have been linked to many degenerative diseases, including diabetic kidney disease. 

The body eliminates AGEs (and other toxins) through antioxidant and enzymatic processes. Even so, like any biological process, the body’s ability to eliminate AGEs can vary. Some of this is due to how well the body is functioning and genetic factors, but overall glucose levels and diet can also affect how effectively the body processes AGEs. Persistently high glucose levels and frequently eating foods rich in AGEs can also add to an accumulation of AGEs.

The accumulation of AGEs in the blood indicates how effective the body has been at eliminating these toxins. The accumulation of high levels of certain AGEs points to a higher risk of developing health complications, including diabetic kidney disease.

How do we know that AGEs are a biomarker for diabetic kidney disease?

Dr. Paul Beisswenger, MD, and his research team have spent decades studying the accumulation of AGEs in the blood of people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who either developed or avoided kidney complications. 

By tapping into the clinical results from the most comprehensive, longitudinal clinical outcome trials for diabetes in the US, the research team was able to determine the specific combination of AGEs accumulation, A1C results, and risk factors that lead to a higher likelihood of kidney complications. 

They did this by analyzing blood samples from people who participated in the groundbreaking Natural History of Diabetic Nephropathy, DCCT/EDIC, ACCORD, and Pima Indian trials. The research team focused on blood samples collected over time from people who developed kidney complications. By going back in time they were able to track the accumulation of AGEs before there were any indications of kidney problems based on kidney function measured as GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate) and on levels of protein in their urine based on ACR (Albumin to creatinine) ratios.

The NaviDKD proactive diagnostic screening and NaviDKD Compass Report are a direct result of Dr. Beisswenger’s research.

After identifying various risk levels Dr. Beisswenger went on to synthesize these findings into a straightforward, standardized report. This NaviDKD Compass Report not only clearly states a person’s risk level for developing kidney complications (i.e., low, medium, or high), it also gives care recommendations based on current care standards from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), and the Association of Diabetes Care and Educations Specialists (ADCES).

The recommendations presented in the NaviDKD Compass Report offer the person and their healthcare team a science-based starting point for developing an individualized kidney care plan.