CVS partners with ProKidney to enroll patients for phase 3 cell therapy trial

CVS Health Clinical Trial Services, a unit of the pharmacy giant CVS, has signed up to begin enrolling patients for ProKidney’s phase 3 trial of its ReACT cell therapy designed to treat chronic kidney disease.

Under the agreement, CVS Health will recruit participants at 39 sites by using a machine learning model to identify patient populations that align with trial inclusion/exclusion criteria, the company said in a Jan. 31 media advisory. Financial details weren’t disclosed.

ProKidney picked up ReACT when it acquired Twin City Bio and inRegen for $62 million in 2019. In 2021, the company presented data on 51 type 2 diabetic chronic kidney disease patients who received image-guided injections of autologous renal progenitors across two midphase trials. The treatment is designed to slow, stabilize and reverse decline in kidney function.

If proven effective, ProKidney has forecast the eligible patient population at about 4.4 million. If the company can penetrate just 1% of the addressable market, it has said it could reap as much as $16 billion with the treatment going for $360,000 a patient.

To help fund the study, the company hauled in $597 million as part of a merger last January with Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp. III, a SPAC set up by billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya and Suvretta Capital.