National Kidney Foundation Names Genzyme, Corp. Associate Sponsor of Kidney Early Evaluation Program

New York, NY (2007-04-11)

The National Kidney Foundation announced today from its Annual Clinical Nephrology Meetings, that Genzyme Corp. has been named Associate Sponsor of the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP). KEEP is a free kidney health screening program designed to help people at risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD) receive early diagnosis and treatment. Research shows that treating CKD at an early stage, especially when diabetes, high blood pressure or cardiovascular diseases is present, can improve outcomes.

“KEEP has been finding early kidney disease and uses a clinical action plan to assist primary care providers in the care of diabetes, high blood pressure, and chronic kidney disease” said Joseph Vassalotti, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the National Kidney Foundation. “The relationship with Genzyme and other KEEP sponsors enables NKF to expand the scope of the program so that we can reach more Americans and follow participants over an extended period of time.”

One in nine American adults- more than 20 million people- have CKD and another 20 million are at increased risk of CKD. Risk factors for CKD include diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of diabetes and CKD. African Americans, American Indians, older Americans and Hispanics are especially at risk.

“Genzyme is proud to sponsor the KEEP program as part of our mission to improve the care of patients with chronic kidney disease,” said John P. Butler, president, Genzyme Renal. “We look forward to working with NKF to ensure that people at risk for chronic kidney disease are identified early, and are given access to the highest quality medical care.”

Key Findings from the first 10 years of KEEP:

  • Nearly 30% of KEEP participants are found to have CKD, yet only two percent knew they were even at risk prior to attending the screening
  • More than 30% of KEEP participants have diabetes
  • Nearly 69% of KEEP participants have elevated blood pressure
  • Nearly 86% of participants have a cardiovascular disease risk factor
  • KEEP participants with later stages of CKD are most likely to be anemic; risk of anemia is greater among those with diabetes
  • 67% of KEEP participants report seeing a physician after the screening to discuss test results, including elevated blood pressure, anemia, urine test abnormalities.

One of the world's leading biotechnology companies, Genzyme is dedicated to making a major positive impact on the lives of people with serious diseases. Since 1981, the company has grown from a small start-up to a diversified enterprise with more than 9,000 employees in locations spanning the globe and 2005 revenues of $2.7 billion. Genzyme has been selected by FORTUNE as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work for” in the United States. With many established products and services helping patients in more than 80 countries, Genzyme is a leader in the effort to develop and apply the most advanced technologies in the life sciences. The company's products and services are focused on rare inherited disorders, kidney disease, orthopaedics, cancer, transplant and immune diseases, and diagnostic testing. Genzyme's commitment to innovation continues today with a substantial development program focused on these fields, as well as heart disease and other areas of unmet medical need.

The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to the prevention of kidney and urinary tract disease, improving the health and well-being of patients and families affected by these diseases and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation. For information on KEEP and a current schedule of screening events visit

Genzyme Corp. is joining Principal Sponsor, Amgen and associate sponsor Abbott Laboratories in supporting KEEP. Additional support for KEEP is provided by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Inc., Ortho Biotech, Inc., Siemens Medical Solutions Diagnostics , Lifescan, Inc., Suplena, and Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.