Information forPATIENTS

General information
for patients

BEAt-DKD (“Biomarker Enterprise to Attack Diabetic Kidney Disease”) is a unique collaboration between public and private sectors, with the aim to improve prevention and management of DKD, the most common form of chronic kidney disease. Presently, there are no means to effectively prevent or cure DKD, which has reached epidemic dimensions and is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD)End-stage renal disease (ESRD):
Kidney failure treated
by dialysis or a kidney transplant
and kidney failureKidney failure:
Kidney damage that is so advanced that less than 15% of your kidney works normally
. It is a debilitating disease, with patients facing mortalities exceeding most cancers while being underserved by inefficient and unsuccessful drug development. DKD remains a large unmet medical need.

BEAt-DKD is a 5-year project jointly funded by the European Union's Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), member companies from the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and the Swiss state. It has gathered leading experts from 22 academic institutions and hospitals, 7 EFPIA pharmaceutical companies, 1 biotech company and a patient organization, with the goal to identify mechanisms and pathways underlying initiation, progression and heterogeneity of DKD that can be targets for new treatments, as well as to identify and validate biomarkers of disease progression and treatment responses.

Main focus in the BEAt-DKD project is the discovery and implementation of different kinds of biomarkers. A biomarker can be a substance measured in blood or urine, or something detectable in an image, which can give us important information about the underlying mechanisms in DKD and which can e.g. predict the risk of developing DKD or how a patient will respond to a given treatment. A biomarker should be relatively easy to measure in order to be used in clinical practice.

We expect to:


significantly advance understanding of the heterogeneity of DKD and the processes that underlie the disease, by integrating knowledge and techniques from different medical disciplines


optimally explore existing and new information by using state-of-the-art techniques, to better understand how to translate data from animal and cell models into knowledge relevant for the disease in humans


by building on the broad experience within BEAt-DKD and involving expert advice from regulatory agencies and other stakeholders, facilitate the development of standardized sets of biomarkers with both prognosticPrognostic:
Indicating the likelihood of patient outcome, regardless of a specific treatment.
and predictive Predictive:
Indicating the likelihood of benefitting from a specific treatment.
capacity to serve as criteria for decision on the use of future clinical trial protocols for evaluating novel therapies for DKD


contribute to a better stratification of diabetes patients, which will allow a division of patients into subgroups with specific characteristics


improve conditions for development of new therapies for DKD, with a better patient stratification and the new biomarkers leading to a reduction in numbers of patients needed to be included in clinical trials, thus more rapidly providing evidence for a new treatment, which in turn will allow a faster submission for regulatory approval


take first steps towards precision medicine in DKD: treatment tailored to the individual needs of the patient

Picture of doctor and patient

Latest news from BEAt-DKD


An exciting new publication on a revolutionary new subdivision of diabetes into five subtypes instead of the classic two, work by BEAt-DKD partners at Lund University and University of Helsinki, has received world-wide attention and acclaim. The paper in the prestigious journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology opens up to a better definition and treatment of diabetes patients.


BEAt-DKD researchers publish an important paper that gives insight into causes of high protein levels in urine of patients with Diabetic Nephropathy


Pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim joined the BEAt-DKD consortium and will contribute with its vast knowledge and experience in diabetes complications and the development of diabetes treatments