BetterHumans: Tiny ceramic nano-particles that lower dangerous levels of phosphate in patients with End Stage Renal Disease are moving into animal studies.

The non-calcium nano-particle treatment, called RenaZorb, is designed to remove phosphate ions in the gastrointestinal tract without being absorbed into the bloodstream. In laboratory tests, one gram of RenaZorb can remove 140 mg of phosphate from simulated stomach acid within 20 minutes.

The treatment’s maker, Altair Nanotechnologies, claims this is unprecedented. But it must now be backed up by more realistic testing — in dogs. “In addition to possibly confirming our laboratory results, the animal testing should also ascertain if RenaZorb binds phosphate efficiently when food is present and establish the degree of absorption of the drug into blood serum,” said Dr. Rudi E. Moerck, Altair’s president.