Minimal change disease (MCD), focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), and Membranous nephropathy (MN), generate an enormous individual and societal financial burden, accounting for approximately 12% of prevalent end stage renal disease (ESRD) cases (2005) at an annual cost in the US of more than $3 billion. However, the clinical classification of these diseases is widely believed to be inadequate by the scientific community. Given the poor understanding of MCD/FSGS and MN biology, it is not surprising that the available therapies are imperfect. The therapies lack a clear biological basis, and as many families have experienced, they are often not beneficial, and in fact may be significantly toxic. Given these observations, it is essential that research be conducted that address these serious obstacles to effectively caring for patients.
In response to a request for applications by the National Institutes of Health, Office of Rare Diseases (NIH, ORD) for the creation of Rare Disease Clinical Research Consortia, a number of affiliated universities joined together with The NephCure Foundation the NIDDK, the ORDR, and the University of Michigan in collaboration towards the establishment of a Nephrotic Syndrome (NS) Rare Diseases Clinical Research Consortium.
Through this consortium the investigators hope to understand the fundamental biology of these rare diseases and aim to bank long-term observational data and corresponding biological specimens for researchers to access and further enrich.