For Relypsa, a biotech innovation company based in Redwood, CA, it’s not enough to develop life-saving therapeutics for kidney patients.
“Our mission is to improve the lives of patients on all levels,” said Alex Dobbin, Associate Director of Investor Relations at Relypsa. “Our patient-first focus has translated to our business goals and our community involvement.”
The company and its employees have embraced their patient focus by partnering with, and supporting, the National Kidney Foundation through the Kidney Walk.
As a company, Relypsa has developed the first approved medicine in more than 50 years to treat hyperkalemia, a life-threatening condition common in kidney patients who have or are approaching kidney failure. As a walk team, Relypsa has raised over $66,000 at Kidney Walks across the San Francisco Bay Area over the past two years.
“The Kidney Walk is a great opportunity to come together and help out the community,” Dobbin said. “It’s a way for us to express the values that make our company and employees unique. We responded by coming together and celebrating the community we’re working for.”
Many employees at Relypsa have personal connections to kidney disease. Paulynn Dorotheo, Director of Consultant Data Management at Relypsa, had a grandfather pass away from kidney disease. Other Relypsa employees have similar connections to kidney disease.
“For many of us, it’s a family disease,” Dorotheo said. “So our participation is personal, and it’s our way of helping others while we’re working to prolong and improve the quality of life for patients.”
In 2014, Relypsa Kidney Walkers raised $14,000. In 2015, the team raised over $38,003. With corporate sponsorship, Relypsa and their employees have raised over $66,000 in two years.
Funds raised by Relypsa have supported public awareness programs, free local kidney health screenings, NKF advocacy efforts and medical education for professionals across the country.
“The Kidney Walk is a special event for us because it brings us back to our mission,” Dobbin said. “We’re a purpose-led team, and Kidney Walks give us the chance to honor the patients we aim to serve and the values which bring us together.”