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Review paper on Proenkephalin as a Novel Biomarker for Kidney Function

scientific paper shows proenkephalin as the new biomarker for the assessment of kidney function as a more accurate marker to timely detect impaired kidney function when compared with conventional methods

HENNIGSDORF, Germany — SphingoTec GmbH announces in the early release of September 2017 issue of the Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine the first review about proenkephalin[1] to aid in the still cumbersome assessment of real kidney function and detection of acute kidney injury.

Acute kidney injury is a common and devastating medical condition. Up to 75 % of all critically ill patients have been found to develop AKI – incidence rising. US hospitals alone see 1.7 million cases of AKI and have limited clinical information for prediction, diagnosis and management of the disease hinting towards the global challenge of undiagnosed AKI.

International leading physicians and researchers in the field of kidney diseases, laboratory medicine, intensive and emergency care report, that the detection of proenkephalin as a stable surrogate marker of enkephalins is possible using the commercially available sphingotest® penKid® assay. The review highlights, that numerous clinical studies demonstrated proenkephalin to be a more accurate and timely biomarker to detect real kidney function compared with serum creatinine. Furthermore, the researchers found an ideal correlation with gold standard techniques such as inulin clearance and related methods, to determine the true GFR. In various patient groups, including patients with heart failure or sepsis proenkephalin concentrations have been shown to predict deterioration of kidney function and subsequent clinical outcomes independently from inflammation or other comorbidities. sphingotec is continuously working with its network of researchers and clinicians to confirm these results in further clinical studies.

About sphingotest® penKid®

The sphingotest® penKid® immunoassay from SphingoTec GmbH measures proenkephalin, a stable surrogate marker for the kidney stimulating hormone enkephalin, indicative for the actual need for kidney stimulation. sphingotest® penKid® predicts the future change in serum creatinine up to two days in advance and is unaffected by inflammation or comorbidities. Today, the sphingotest® penKid® has been evaluated in more than 25,000 patients.

About SphingoTec GmbH

SphingoTec GmbH develops innovative biomarkers for diagnosis, prediction and monitoring of acute medical conditions, such as acute heart failure, acute kidney injury and circulatory shock, in order to support patient management and provide guidance for treatment strategies. Furthermore, sphingotec develops biomarkers for the prediction of health risks, such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases and breast cancer, in order to support prevention strategies.

SphingoTec GmbH was established in 2002 and is located in Hennigsdorf near Berlin, Germany. CEO Dr. Andreas Bergmann was one of the founders of B.R.A.H.M.S. AG. As former Chief Research Officer, he was responsible for the development of the “gold standard” sepsis biomarker Procalcitonin (B.R.A.H.M.S. PCT™). For more information, visit

[1] Remi Beunders, Joachim Struck, Alan H.B. Wu, Alexander Zarbock, Salvatore Di Somma, Ravindra L. Mehta, Jay L. Koyner, Mitra K. Nadim, Alan S. Maisel, Patrick T. Murray, Sean-Xavier Neath, Allan Jaffe and Peter Pickkers (2017) Proenkephalin (PENK) as a Novel Biomarker for Kidney Function The Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine: An AACC Publication Sep 2017, jalm.2017.023598; DOI: 10.1373/jalm.2017.023598

sphingotec®, sphingotest® and penKid®, are registered trademarks of SphingoTec GmbH in Europe. For information regarding trademarks and other intellectual property applicable to this product, please see