I was invited to do grand-rounds at St John and was given no guidance on selecting my topic. I recently received a phone call from a long-time family friend, this man had literally changed my diapers, and he asked me to help a relative get bardoxolone. My group is participating in Beacon (the current phase II trial for bardoxolone) and though I am not one of the investigators I assured him that we would evaluate his friend. I couldn’t guarantee he would get study drug rather than placebo or even qualify for the trial.
The whole event shocked me. I had no idea that the results of the Bardoxolone study had slipped beyond the geek fringes of nephrology. It reminded me of a story that Judah Folkman told. He came to Indiana University to collect an award and give a lecture, shortly after a NYTimes profile. In that front page story James Watson (yes that James Watson) said Folkman would cure cancer in two years.
Judah told the story that he was getting phone calls from strangers and friends asking for his miracle cure and was heart broken because he had nothing to offer them. At that stage his drug was only for mice.
|That’s Judah and me following the afore mentioned lecture in 1999.|
Getting that call from my friend gave me the same sort of Folkman moment. I never thought people would be calling me trying to get experimental therpy. So I decided to talk about Bardoxolone.
As I started my research I became concerned that patients randomized to bardoxolone developed increased albumniuria.