Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients with hyperposphataemia will now have access to a new treatment option in the UK following the launch of Genzyme’s Renvela this week.

Elevated levels of serum phosphorus is a common problem in patients with advanced CKD which, if left untreated, can not only cause bone pain, skeletal deformities and fractures but also shorten patients’ life-spans.

Renvela (sevelamer carbonate) is a next-generation version of Genzyme’s Renagel (sevelamer hydrochloride), and the drugs are currently the only phosphate binders on the market that do not contain either calcium or a metal.

The drug won European approval in the Summer to treat patients not yet receiving dialysis with serum phosphorus levels equal to or above 1.78 mmol/L, after a clinical trail programme demonstrated Renvela’s ability to control levels of phosphate so that they remain within the recommended range.

“The launch of Renvela in the UK marks an important step in helping to improve the management of chronic kidney disease, and could make a real difference to the lives of patients living with the condition,” noted Steve Higgins, Interim General Manager at Genzyme, Oxford.

Renvela’s active ingredient sevelamer carbonate will be produced at Genzyme’s UK manufacturing site at Haverhill, Suffolk, to supply the whole global market, and the plant will also play “a pivotal role” in distributing the finished product around the UK and rest of the world, Genzyme said.