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Boditech Med and SphingoTec close global licensing agreement for kidney function biomarker Proenkephalin A 119-159 (penKid)

  • Worldwide licensing agreement signed to develop and offer penKid as test on Boditech’s fully automated immunoassay systems.
  • The biomarker penKid adds diagnostic value and addresses current unmet needs in the management of patients suffering from acute kidney injury.
  • PenKid’s availability on Boditech’s global network of analyzers will amplify the reach of penKid to the wider critical care community.

Gangwon-do, Republic of Korea and Hennigsdorf/Berlin, Germany, November 15, 2022 - Boditech Med Inc. (“Boditech”) and SphingoTec GmbH (“SphingoTec”) today announced they have entered into a non-exclusive royalty-bearing license agreement. Under the terms of this agreement, Boditech has obtained the rights to develop and commercialize clinical tests for the kidney function biomarker penKid on its renowned AFIAS and ichroma Point of Care platforms. Through this partnership, Boditech and SphingoTec will make the biomarker penKid available on Boditech’s worldwide installed base with the goal of improving the management of patients suffering from acute kidney injury (AKI).

AKI affects one in five hospitalized patients (1). The critical state is currently diagnosed by standard-of-care biomarkers when 50% of the kidney function is already lost (1). PenKid addresses these pitfalls, offering an earlier and more precise determination of kidney function in acute and critical care settings (2).

Eui-Yul Choi, CEO, Boditech Med said “Expanding our critical care portfolio with innovation in the field of acute diseases can, in the future, support our customers applying medical advancements and improve patient outcomes. After successfully evaluating the feasibility of penKid on our diagnostic solutions, we are looking forward to working with SphingoTec for the development and commercialization of the new test.”

Jörg Menten, CEO, SphingoTec said “Boditech is a leader in point of care diagnostics with a strong global footprint. The agreement entered into with Boditech marks a significant milestone in SphingoTec’s mission to provide early detection of acute kidney injury to the international acute and critical care community. Our scientific research shows the future potential of penKid to monitor kidney function in further clinical settings such as renal replacement therapy (3) and pediatric AKI management (4,5). We are excited to work with our new partner to bring these advancements to critical care physicians around the globe very soon.


  1. Kellum, J.A. et al. Acute kidney injury. Nat Rev Dis Primers 7, 52 (2021).
  2. Hollinger A, et al. Proenkephalin A 119-159 (Penkid) Is an Early Biomarker of Septic Acute Kidney Injury: The Kidney in Sepsis and Septic Shock (Kid-SSS) Study. Kidney Int Rep. 2018 Aug 22;3(6):1424-1433. doi: 10.1016/j.ekir.2018.08.006.
  3. von Groote et al. Proenkephalin A 119–159 predicts early and successful liberation from renal replacement therapy in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury: a post hoc analysis of the ELAIN trial. Crit Care 26, 333 (2022).
  4. Smeets NJL, et al. Proenkephalin A as a marker for glomerular filtration rate in critically ill children: validation against gold standard iohexol GFR measurements. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2022 Oct 27. doi: 10.1515/cclm-2022-0545.
  5. Hartman et al (2020), Proenkephalin as a New Biomarker for Pediatric Acute Kidney Injury - Reference Values and Performance in Children Under One Year of Age, Clin Chem Lab Med, doi: 10.1515/cclm-2020-0381

About Boditech

Boditech Med (based in Chuncheon, Gangwon-do, Republic of Korea) is a leading company in the field of point-of-care diagnostics, which has accumulated more than 20 years of business expertise in the field. The company has more than 85 types of in vitro diagnostic products that detect biomarkers related to infectious diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and hormone-related diseases with its immunofluorescence lateral flow technology, quantitative immunofluorescence technology and spectrophotometric technology. And the list continues to grow with new high-value-added products. With its instrument platform installed in more than 120 countries, the company also has a stable revenue model. The company is currently strengthening its value as a global company by expanding its manufacturing bases in the US, China, India, and Indonesia.

About SphingoTec

SphingoTec GmbH ("SphingoTec"; Hennigsdorf near Berlin, Germany) is a commercial-stage diagnostic company focusing on innovative critical care biomarker for the diagnosis, prediction and monitoring of acute medical conditions. Sphingotec’s innovative markers are made available on different IVD platforms. SphingoTec's proprietary biomarker portfolio includes bioactive Adrenomedullin 1-52 (bio-ADM), a biomarker for assessment of endothelial function in conditions like sepsis, and Proenkephalin A 119-159 (penKid), a biomarker for assessment of kidney function in critical diseases.

About penKid

Proenkephalin A 119-159 (penKid) is a blood-based biomarker for assessing the kidney function in acute and critical conditions. The biomarker offers a blood-based alternative for the complex and time-consuming in vivo measurement of true glomerular filtration rate (GFR). PenKid is independent of common comorbidities (e.g. hypertension and diabetes) and the frequently occurring inflammation in critically ill patients. Rising penKid blood levels predict acute kidney injury earlier than today’s standard of care and decreasing penKid blood levels indicate the improvement of kidney function. Scientific evidence shows that penKid also reflects kidney function in children, representing a potential biomarker for pediatric AKI.

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Last Updated: 15-Nov-2022