Lilly, Boehringer run 'It takes 2' campaign with hip-hop artist Rob Base for kidney disease awareness

Jardiance development partners Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim say it takes two: two tests, to be exact, to find out about a patient’s kidney disease.

That sparked a memory, one going all the way back to 1988 and the hip-hop song “It Takes Two” from Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, who declared that “it takes two to make a thing go right.”

The U.S. and German pharmas, which co-market the diabetes and kidney disease drug Jardiance, decided to go old school and back to the ‘80s, teaming up with Base for the launch of “It Takes 2,” a new education and awareness campaign aimed specifically at healthcare professionals and their patients’ risk for kidney disease.

“More than three decades later, the sentiment [it takes two] still rings true, especially when it comes to managing kidney health,” the companies said in a joint release.

Base has reimagined and rerecorded his classic single specifically for this cause, turning “It Takes Two” into “It Takes 2 – The Remix,” to help “reach key audiences to spotlight the significance of complete testing.”

The main thrust is on the condition's unknown nature and the benefits of having two tests for the condition, rather than just one.

Clinical guidelines recommend both blood and urine tests for complete screening for kidney disease, namely: estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR) tests.

Recent data highlighted by the companies reveal that fewer than 20% of adults with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, two of the main risk factors for developing kidney disease, received both tests.

More than 35 million adults in the U.S. have chronic kidney disease (CKD) but as many as 90% of them are unaware of their condition, the companies said. Finding those patients is key to their treatment.

Jardiance, which was originally approved for type 2 diabetes and generates blockbuster-level sales, recently nabbed a new FDA label to reduce the risk of sustained decline in eGFR, end-stage kidney disease, cardiovascular death and hospitalization in adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD) at risk of progression.

This marks a new trend for diabetes drugs, such as with AstraZeneca's rival drug Farxiga, which are extending their patent life outside of their original labels into treating or lowering the risk of cardiovascular and kidney diseases, two conditions that can arise in type 2 diabetes patients.

As part of the initiative, there are also new resources and educational content for healthcare providers “that underscore the importance of using both blood and urine tests, with dual messaging that speaks directly to healthcare professionals as well as adults at risk for CKD,” the companies added.

“’It Takes Two’ is a defining piece of music history and the Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly Alliance is excited to partner with Rob Base to reinvent this song to amplify the mission of our new health initiative," said Mohamed Eid, M.D., M.P.H., M.H.A., vice president of clinical development and medical affairs for Cardio-Renal-Metabolism & Respiratory Medicine and Boehringer Ingelheim.