COMUNICADO: Roche Creates "The Amazing Kidnerellis!" Animation to Boost Public Awareness of Chronic Kidney Disease on World Kidney D

Actualizado 11/03/2008 16:06:41 CET

BASEL, Switzerland, March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The life-sustaining activities of our kidneys tend to go unnoticed, until they falter or fail. World Kidney Day ( on March 13th seeks to address this knowledge gap and to boost public awareness of how vital kidney health is to the well-being of the body. As a sponsor of World Kidney Day, Roche has created two interactive web-based tools on the campaign website to help spread this year's health message about the 'Amazing Kidneys'. A cartoon animation "The Amazing Kidnerellis!" and an e-greetings card are designed to be informative and fun.

"We know that people are more receptive to health information when they hear it from family and friends, so we are very pleased that Roche has created the e-greeting card to be able to reach the community with a public health message that may prompt people to check their risk factors for chronic kidney disease," said Philip Springuel, Project Director of World Kidney Day.

World Kidney Day (WKD) is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF). It is a worldwide effort to make more people aware of chronic kidney disease (CKD) which, if detected early, can be treated so reducing other potentially life threatening health complications. Roche is a founding sponsor of WKD. The World Kidney Day message is simple "kidney disease is common, harmful and treatable". Early detection and prevention means that kidney disease can be better managed and even curtailed.

The animation, set in a circus big top, introduces 'Luigi & Rocco' - "The Amazing Kidnerellis!" These characters perform circus style acts which help illustrate the important and amazing functions of the kidneys. Descriptive text accompanying their activities will be available in English, Italian, German, Spanish and French. Visitors to the site can also send a personalised 'Amazing Kidneys!' e-greeting card to family, friends and colleagues ( to spread the World Kidney Day message globally.

"Roche hopes its ongoing support of World Kidney Day will raise awareness of CKD as a global health issue," said Luke Miels, Strategic Marketing Head, Metabolism & Anaemia at Roche. "The resources we created are intended to help accomplish this goal."

Many people do not know, for example that one of the amazing acts our two fist-sized kidneys perform everyday is to remove waste and balance the fluids and minerals in the body. The kidneys do this by filtering a massive 200 litres of blood (more than 1,000 cups of tea or coffee) and extracting two litres of waste and excess water per day. In addition, the kidneys produce essential hormones which drive key functions such as control of blood pressure and the production of red blood cells. The body needs red blood cells to deliver oxygen to tissues and organs so that they can work properly.

When kidney function declines chronic kidney disease (CKD) develops and the kidneys can no longer perform their amazing acts. CKD almost always leads to complications such as cardiovascular disease and anaemia. The prevalence of CKD is increasing; a recent study showed that the rate has jumped from one in every 10 adults to about one in every 7 to 8(1). Experts believe that this figure is likely to rise even more due to high obesity rates since obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure are all risk factors for CKD(2).

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world's leading research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. As the world's biggest biotech company and an innovator of products and services for the early detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people's health and quality of life. Additional information about the Roche Group is available on the Internet at

About WKD organisers

The partnership between the International Society of Nephrology ( (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations ( (IFKF) - the co-organizers of World Kidney Day - represents a strong alliance between kidney health professionals and patient groups to bring global attention to the prevention and treatment of kidney disease. The ISN is a not-for-profit society whose mission is the global advancement of nephrology. The IFKF, a not-for-profit Federation advocates worldwide to improve the health, well-being and quality of life of individuals with kidney disease; disseminates standards of best practice of treatment and care; assists with the establishment of kidney foundations in countries where they do not yet exist; facilitates educational programs for its members; and promotes kidney disease research.



(1) (accessed 11.24am GMT 28/01/08)

(2)Agnani S., Vachharajani V. T., Gupta R., Atray N.K. and Vachharajani. T.J. Does treating obesity stabilize chronic kidney disease? 2005. BMC Nephrology 6:7doi:10.1186/1471-2369-6-7

Sheila Kolesaire at Roche, Tel:+973-235-4347, Mobile:+973-687-0188; Diane Lorton at Galliard, Tel: +44(0)207-663-2265, Mobile:+44(0)7717-531-823; Angela Guillemet for WKD, Mobile: +353-863-11-40-67

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