Chronic Kidney Disease-Associated Pruritus, also known as CKD-aP, is itching that is directly related to the chronic kidney disease. It is estimated that 30-70% of chronic kidney disease patients struggle with pruritus. It has been described by kidney disease patients as “an itch you just can’t scratch”.
Unlike other conditions associated with itching such as eczema or psoriasis, there is no ‘visual’ rash or markings on the skin caused directly by CKD-aP. Marks, rashes, or lesions that are seen on the skin among those with CKD-aP are caused from continued scratching in the same location.
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of effective treatments for CKD-aP. Typical treatment has consisted of antihistamines and lotions. As of 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved a new intravenous (IV) treatment for CKD-aP known as KORSUVA® (difelikefalin) Injection (the same study drug, in tablet form, being investigated in the KICK studies) for chronic kidney disease patients undergoing dialysis. 1 KORSUVA® (difelikefalin) Injection is also now approved for use in the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom (UK), Australia, Canada, Singapore, and Switzerland with the tradename KapruviaTM.
The KICK studies are investigating difelikefalin in chronic kidney disease patients who are experiencing moderate to severe itching caused by their CKD. The patients being recruited into the KICK studies are not actively undergoing dialysis.