AstraZeneca, looking for clarity, snags ImpediMed sensors for heart, kidney failure trials

The $4.5 million deal covers two, 18-month trials in heart failure and chronic kidney disease, with 375 Sozo devices being leased across 31 countries to provide the drugmaker with real-time data review. (AstraZeneca)

To capture a clearer picture of patients’ progress in its clinical trials for heart failure and chronic kidney disease, AstraZeneca has tapped the Australian developer ImpediMed and its devices that can measure the fluid status of a person’s tissues in 30 seconds.

Compared to traditional lab tests that may take up to 24 hours to turn around, the company’s digital, non-invasive Sozo system uses bioimpedance spectroscopy—which runs a painless electric current through the body and measures its resistance—to gauge the total amount of water as well as extracellular and intracellular fluid volumes.

Excessive fluids can lead to high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, and are a sign of decreased kidney function. AstraZeneca inked a previous deal with ImpediMed in September to supply Sozo readers for a phase 2 trial testing a two-drug combination for kidney disease and heart failure.

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This week, the Big Pharma expanded the collaboration, ordering more of the FDA-cleared and CE-marked devices for a second phase 2 study focused solely on chronic kidney disease, and slated to begin in January 2021. 

The expanded, $4.5 million deal covers 375 Sozo devices leased across 31 countries, to provide real-time data review of participants across both year-and-a-half-long trials.

RELATED: AstraZeneca taps digital stethoscope maker Eko to support its heart failure research

“Heart failure and chronic kidney disease are two of our three strategic focus areas, and this agreement provides further validation of the applicability of our technology in both patient populations,” ImpediMed CEO Richard Carreon said in a statement. “This endorsement of our technology is timely as the company begins the launch of Sozo into the cardiology market.”

AstraZeneca has also been pursuing other digital technologies to supplement its clinical trials, including recently with the digital stethoscope maker Eko to provide artificial intelligence-guided detection of heart murmurs and atrial fibrillation.

Editor's note: The total amount of the deal has been corrected.

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