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Difelikefalin may offer dialysis patients some relief from the persistent itching associated with chronic dialysis, according to results from the KALM-1 trial presented during Kidney Week 2019.

The results were presented at the High Impact Clinical Trials session. Other trials presented during the session showed that azathioprine (AZA) may provide equivalent immunosuppression at a fraction of the price of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), while vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids failed to offer kidney protection for patients with diabetes.

Itching has proven to be a difficult-to-treat side effect of dialysis despite its substantial impact on patients’ quality of life and mortality,

KidneyX was established in April 2018 as a public-private partnership between the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with a mission to accelerate innovation in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney diseases.

KidneyX aims to achieve this mission through a series of competitive prize competitions. The first competition hosted by KidneyX is a phased competition centered on improving dialysis. Redesign Dialysis Phase I asked innovators to accelerate the development and commercialization of next-generation dialysis products, specifically to design possible solutions or solution components that can replicate normal kidney functions and improve

Zach Cahill

ASN Kidney Week is unique among medical society gatherings for elevating the patient voice during the annual meeting. Accelerating innovation and discovery in the kidney disease space makes including the perspectives of people with kidney disease in scientific meetings and other forums essential. During the ASN Kidney Week Annual Meeting, more than 10 people with kidney disease gave talks on a variety of topics.

The foremost of the patient presentations was the Celeste Castillo Lee Memorial Lectureship, a rare example of a lecture endowed in the name of a patient and presented during a medical society meeting. Established in 2017,

Bridget M. Kuehn

Extending Medicare coverage for immunosuppressive drugs through the life of a kidney transplant could reduce the costs of a patient’s care by $3163 while improving their quality of life, according to research presented at Kidney Week 2019.

Using a Markov model and data on posttransplant outcomes from US patients with Medicare and private insurance coverage, Matthew Kadatz, MD, a clinical assistant professor in the Division of Nephrology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and his colleagues analyzed the cost effectiveness of extending Medicare coverage for the life of a kidney transplant. Currently, Medicare only covers immunosuppressive drugs for

Bridget M. Kuehn

Margaret Collins, MD, a nephrologist who runs a hypertension specialty practice in Wilmington, North Carolina, knows well the challenges women in nephrology face from trying to get through a grueling nephrology fellowship during her childbearing years to trying to navigate demands for 90-hour weeks in practice with children at home.

At Kidney Week 2019, she and her father, Francis Collins, MD, the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), brought those challenges into focus at the Women in Nephrology’s Nancy E. Gary Memorial Lecture. During an hour-long discussion, the pair delved into the barriers that prevent women from achieving

Bridget M. Kuehn

Results from the first-in-humans trial of the automated wearable kidney (AWAK) found the device to be safe, according to work presented at Kidney Week 2019. And results from an animal study of a similar device, the Wearable Artificial KIDney (WEAKID) presented at the meeting set the stage for that device to progress to human trials as well.

The developments are the latest steps in progress toward the development of a wearable artificial kidney.

Developing an artificial kidney is now a priority of the US government under Advancing American Kidney Health, established by Executive Order in July 2019. The Kidney Health

Mukta Baweja

As representatives of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) joined the audience of thousands in the nephrology community from around the world, ASN President Mark E. Rosenberg, MD, FASN, kick-started Kidney Week 2019 with the opening plenary, galvanizing the political energy and opportunity of Washington, DC.

The field of nephrology has been subjected to decades of stagnation, largely resulting from lack of sufficient funding and innovation.

Until now.

After a prolonged drought in innovation and regulatory adjustment in the kidney field, an

Bridget M. Kuehn

The one-two punch of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the United States and the Caribbean in 2017 was a wake-up call to the nephrology community and first responders. The twin disasters left more than 56,000 dialysis patients in the lurch, and kidney transplant patients in destroyed communities desperately seeking immunosuppressive medications.

To better prepare for future disasters, ASN created the Emergency Partnership Initiative (EPI), which held its first meeting in September 2019. The partnership aims to bring together dialysis and transplant clinicians; patients; federal, state, and local emergency responders; public health leaders; and companies that make up the supply chain

Results from a sub-analysis of the VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL) did not find any benefit from either supplement in preventing or slowing kidney disease in patients with type 2 diabetes. Negative results from the primary analysis of the VITAL trial were published earlier this year showing no benefit of the supplements in cancer or cardiovascular diseases prevention.

The diabetic kidney disease portion of the trial randomized 1312 adults with type 2 diabetes to vitamin D or omega-3 supplementation or placebos and followed them for incidence or progression of kidney disease for 5 years. The purpose was to ask

Eric Seaborg

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has announced plans to develop a new self-paced longitudinal assessment for maintenance of certification (MOC) as an alternative option to the traditional every-10-years exam.

“With this new option, physicians will be able to answer a question and receive immediate feedback as to whether it was correct or not, along with the rationale, and links to educational material,” according to a statement from ABIM Board of Directors Chair Marianne M. Green, MD, and President and CEO Richard J. Baron, MD.

ABIM is currently seeking comments on the proposal at its website and has no