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Fresenius Medical Care

The complex interactions and side effects that lead to kidney failure are better explored today than ever before. Technological advances develop in parallel with medical insights to improve the possibilities for treating patients. Our R & D activities at Fresenius Medical Care aim to translate new insights into novel or improved developments and to bring them to market as quickly as possible, and thus make an important contribution towards rendering the treatment of patients increasingly comfortable, safe, and individualized.

In 2013, we reorganized the R & D department. A new Management Board position for R & D was established and our global research and development activities were pooled. This was done in order to build up a global R & D function that can efficiently develop outstanding products.

We continued the development of our products during 2013, and introduced a number of important innovations in our markets. Our main products in the dialysis area are the Cordiax 5008 therapy system, together with its home hemodialysis variants, and the U.S. 2008K home platform.

With the market launch of our BiBags for the 2008T hemodialysis machine, a dry bicarbonate concentrate which is dissolved in the machine, we made a further contribution to the improvement of dialysis treatment. They make the work flows in hemodialysis more efficient and, at the same time, increase patient safety during treatment because they prevent the wrong concentrate being used.

We are also involved in the relevant areas of clinical research, where we cooperate worldwide with universities and research institutions. In 2013, our clinical trials concerned the automatic control of the electrolyte balance. In healthy people, the kidney manages the complex control of this function; for patients with renal failure, dialysis must take on this task. Hemodialysis, in which the dialysis solution is continuously produced by the dialysis machine, makes it possible to influence these processes positively by adjusting the dialysis solution. We are currently conducting clinical trials for an automated method as a routine support procedure for physicians.

Another focus of our clinical trials is currently on peritoneal dialysis (PD), and in particular on overhydration, which afflicts more than half of all PD patients. In a study published in 2013, we were able to demonstrate that active fluid management increases the survival rate, reduces the number and duration of hospitalizations, and contributes to the improved maintenance of the remaining kidney function.

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