Celebrating a Culture of Commitment on PKD Awareness Day

Frank Czerwiec, M.D., Ph.D.VP, Global Clinical Development

Frank Czerwiec, M.D., Ph.D. works collaboratively towards development of our Clinical Development team’s leadership in developing important new drugs, devices and other tools for the betterment of human health. As the Brand Team Co-Chair for tolvaptan, for its indications of hyponatremia and autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), Dr. Czerwiec represented Otsuka before patient-advocacy groups, the Critical-Path’s PKD Outcomes Consortium and ADPKD Summit, ASN’s Kidney Health Initiative, IQ Consortium’s Drug Induced Liver Injury group, reimbursement agencies, and as a member of several of PhRMA’s working groups.

Frank Czerwiec M.D.,Ph.D.
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is one of the most common, life threatening genetic diseases, yet many people have never heard of it. PKD affects more than 600,000 Americans and 12.4 million people worldwide, crossing all racial and geographic borders.* Otsuka is proud to be a leader in PKD research. Developing and testing treatments for PKD demonstrates one of our many patient commitments.In my role at Otsuka, I work collaboratively toward the development of new drugs, devices and other tools that, we hope, will improve the lives of patients struggling with diseases and conditions. By its very nature, drug development is fraught with struggles and difficulties, but being able to help patients is the reward for the commitment to this long journey. One of my current responsibilities is leading the team that is investigating a potential treatment for a type of PKD called autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD).In ADPKD, fluid-filled cysts develop and enlarge in both kidneys, eventually leading to kidney failure. By the time they reach age 55, more than half of people diagnosed with ADPKD must either undergo regular dialysis or await a kidney transplant.* As the disease progresses, it causes wide-ranging symptoms from hypertension to chronic kidney pain and kidney stones, which can have a profound impact on daily life. Because ADPKD is genetic, affecting about half of the children born to a patient with the disease*, people with the condition often unwittingly sharing this painful and progressively debilitating condition with those they love most. This week, many of those patients and families have acknowledging PKD Awareness Day. When taking on a disease such as PKD, we can only succeed when multiple parties remain committed. I have been privileged to collaborate with some incredibly dedicated physicians who have studied ADPKD in pre-clinical and clinical studies. The patients involved in these clinical trials have also amazed me with their resilience and commitment to play whatever role they can in improving outcomes for those with whom they share this devastating disease.I am also proud of the commitment that Otsuka has displayed in investigating treatments in this area over the course of the past 15 years. My own personal drive to help families affected by ADPKD is shared by everyone on my team, and also by executives at the highest level of the company. We all share the belief that we must work as hard as we can for those patients who have no other option. The culture of commitment at Otsuka has paved the way for us to continue work in this disease state when many other pharmaceutical companies would have put it back on the shelf.In observance of PKD Awareness day, we at Otsuka are pleased to join with patients, families and loved ones across the U.S. as we celebrate the courage of the entire PKD community, and we reaffirm our commitment to play whatever role we can in improving the lives of patients with this debilitating disease.*CitationSeptember 2017 01US17EUC0169
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