Photo: LifeCycle Chairperson Dr Shirley Cefai presented the donation to Prof Alfred Vella. From left Alan Curry, Nestlé Senior Category Manager Charlene Ellul, Alfred J. Borg, Prof Jean Calleja Agius, Prof Emanuel Farrugia and RIDT’s CEO Wilfred Kenely
A specific research in a particular kidney disorder has been boosted by a €25,000 donated presented by Nescafé 3in1 LifeCycle Challenge to University of Malta’s Research, Innovation and Development Trust (RIDT). The money is part of this year’s title sponsorship from Nestlé’s signature brand Nescafe 3in1 to LifeCycle (Malta) Foundation.
LifeCycle Founder Alan Curry said: “Following talks with University of Malta and Mater Dei Hospital, LifeCycle has been advised to support a research programme in polycystic kidney disease. Since 2014, LifeCycle has made this its mission to further support research programmes at the University of Malta. Thanks to Nescafé 3in1 brand, we are again able to assist in this much needed research.”
A team of researchers from the University’s Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology in collaboration with the Division of Nephrology of the Department of Medicine and Mater Dei Hospital, namely Prof Jean Calleja Agius, Prof Emanuel Farrugia, Dr Edith Said and Dr Graziella Zahra, will be investigating polycystic kidney disease (PKD).
PKD is an inherited disorder in which clusters of cysts develop primarily within the kidneys, causing the kidneys to enlarge and lose function over time. The disorder may be present in childhood and adolescence if it is severe, or later on in life if symptoms are mild. The clinical presentation is very variable as well as the disease progression. PKD can be inherited in a dominant (ADPKD) or a recessive (ARPDK) manner.
“Patients with ADPKD in Malta have so far been diagnosed clinically and the genetic aetiology of this condition is as yet not fully defined. The research project will aim to determine the underlying genetic defect in patients with ADPKD in Malta and to offer proper genetic counselling to families with individuals with ADPKD,” said lead researcher Prof Jean Calleja Agius.
“The full study is expected to be spread over three years and will result in the analysis of most families with ADPKD in Malta,” added Prof Calleja Agius.
Nestlé Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager Alfred J. Borg said: “As part of our mission to enhance the quality of life and contribute to a healthier future for the communities, through our Nescafé 3in1 coffee brand, we have partnered with LifeCycle (Malta) Foundation to further support their noble mission in enhancing the lives of persons living with kidney disorder.”
LifeCycle (Malta) Foundation, the only NGO that raises funds to support patients suffering from kidney failure, covers three principle areas: awareness, treatment and research. To achieve these goals, the Foundation works hand in hand with the medical staff at the Renal Unit of Mater Dei Hospital and the University of Malta Research Trust.
University of Malta’s Rector and RIDT Chairman Prof Alfred Vella thanked Nestlé Malta and LifeCycle Challenge for understanding the need to further their support in medical research, said: “We are very appreciative of today’s donation to further renal research in Malta. In the first year we are aiming to involve in the study at least 50 patients over the age of 18 years that have a positive family history of ADPKD.”