Relypsa raising $80 million to bring kidney drug to market
Relypsa's Gerrit Klaerner.
Kidney disease patients are caught in what Gerrit Klaerner, president of Relypsa Inc., describes as a “Catch 22.” The medicines they can take to help their kidneys also stop their kidneys from processing potassium, an important chemical element that is extremely dangerous when a person’s levels get too high or low. So they can either cut back on the medicine that helps save their kidneys, or risk high potassium levels that can cause their heart to stop. Klaerner’s company, Santa Clara-based Relypsa, is preparing to commercialize a drug to solve that problem and help kidney patients maintain proper potassium levels.