Breakthrough SDMA Kidney Function Test Now Available from IDEXX Canada

SDMA detects kidney disease months or years earlier in cats and dogs

WESTBROOK, Maine, Aug. 4, 2015 /CNW/ -- IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: IDXX) announced today that a breakthrough kidney function test, called symmetric dimethylarginine or SDMA, will now be automatically included in all routine chemistry panels from IDEXX Reference Laboratories in Canada at no additional cost and with the same rapid turnaround time as routine chemistry panels.

This groundbreaking new renal biomarker identifies the onset of kidney disease months or even years earlier than traditional methods, greatly expanding clinical insights and treatment options in cats and dogs. The test arrives on the market after several years of research and clinical studies, culminating in 27 peer-reviewed articles to date and following an extensive pilot launch involving over 600 veterinary practices in the U.S. and Canada in which more than 50,000 SDMA tests were successfully run and used to diagnose potential kidney disease.

"IRIS recognizes that SDMA is a new biomarker for renal dysfunction that can allow for earlier detection of chronic kidney disease," said Astrid M. van Dongen, DVM, DipRNVA (Internal Medicine), president of the IRIS board and associate professor of internal medicine/nephrology, faculty of veterinary medicine, Utrecht University. "SDMA has the potential to expand diagnostic insight and therapeutic opportunities for veterinarians caring for pets with this critical disease."

IRIS is the International Renal Interest Society, a board of 15 world-renowned independent veterinarians with particular expertise in nephrology, from ten different countries.

SDMA was launched in the U.S. in early July, and since that time, over 9,000 clinics have submitted more than 200,000 specimens to IDEXX Reference Laboratories for SDMA testing. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a leading cause of suffering and death in cats and dogs. The results from the submitted specimens are consistent with generally accepted kidney disease prevalence data showing that 1 in 3 cats1 and 1 in 10 dogs2 tested demonstrate some form of kidney disease over their lifetime. Veterinary practitioners are already realizing tremendous benefits from the SDMA test.

"In general practice we deal with kidney disease on a daily basis," said Matthew Kornya, DVM, of The Cat Clinic in Hamilton, Ontario. "SDMA gives us an exciting and much-needed new tool to aid in the diagnosis and monitoring of chronic renal disease. Including SDMA on all our panels has not only allowed our clinic to detect renal disease earlier; it lets us readily determine the role of renal dysfunction in muscle-wasted animals." 

Until now, kidney disease has been routinely diagnosed in part by measuring blood creatinine. However, creatinine is limited in that it cannot detect kidney disease until late in the disease process, and it is known to have poor sensitivity in pets with low muscle mass. Traditionally, a diagnosis is made when 75% of kidney function has been irreversibly lost. At this point, the prognosis is usually very poor. In recent clinical studies at Texas A&M University and Oregon State University, research revealed that SDMA identified disease much earlier in the disease progression, when the kidneys had suffered far less damage. The Oregon State University study demonstrated SDMA detected CKD up to four years earlier in at least one animal. On average, SDMA detected kidney disease when only 40%—and in some cases 25%—of function had been lost.

With over 200,000 clinical data points, it is clear that SDMA identifies significantly more pets with kidney disease than creatinine can. In these patients, earlier detection allows veterinarians to investigate for underlying causes, treat those causes, manage the patient according to the appropriate International Renal Interest Society (IRIS) stage, and customize an appropriate monitoring plan, all with the goal of slowing the progression of CKD.

"SDMA adds another dimension to the investigation of kidney disease," said Bronwyn Rutland, BSc (VB), BVMS (Hons), DACVIM, of the Internal Medicine Service at the 404 Veterinary Emergency and Referral Hospital in Newmarket, Ontario. "Having a single blood test that correlates closely to GFR is a significant advancement in the identification and management of pets with chronic renal disease, especially those with early chronic renal disease."

"SDMA is a result of our industry-leading investment in advancing veterinary medicine and represents a significant achievement in preventive care diagnostics," said Jonathan W. Ayers, president and chief executive officer of IDEXX Laboratories. "Customers using SDMA as part of their routine chemistry panels have told us it has already transformed the way kidney disease is diagnosed and treated, and will help their patients live longer, happier lives."

The SDMA test was launched in the U.S. market as part of the routine chemistry panel on July 13. A roll-out in our global reference laboratory network will extend into 2016.

For more information about SDMA, visit or call 1-800-667-3411.

About IDEXX Laboratories

IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. is a leader in pet healthcare innovation, serving practicing veterinarians around the world with a broad range of diagnostic and information technology-based products and services. IDEXX products enhance the ability of veterinarians to provide advanced medical care, improve staff efficiency and to build more economically successful practices. IDEXX is also a worldwide leader in providing livestock and poultry diagnostic tests and tests for the quality and safety of water and milk. Headquartered in Maine, IDEXX Laboratories employs more than 6,000 people and offers products to customers in more than 175 countries.


IDEXX Laboratories
Elizabeth Hunt


Investor Relations
IDEXX Laboratories
Ed Garber


  1. Lulich JP, Osborne CA, O'Brien TD, Polzin DJ. Feline renal failure: questions, answers, questions. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet. 1992;14(2):127–153.
  2. Brown SA. Renal dysfunction in small animals. The Merck Veterinary Manual website. Updated October 2013. Accessed July 29, 2015.

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SOURCE IDEXX Laboratories, Inc.

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