ASN Leads Kidney Community Letter to Congress on Emergency Supplemental Funding for NIDDK and KidneyX

By Ryan Murray

May 20, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a uniquely significant impact on the kidney community: kidney patients are at elevated risk, kidney failure is one of the consequences many people who contract COVID-19 face, and the pandemic has accelerated several trends in kidney medicine, including the prioritization of telehealth and more home-based care. Recognizing these realities, American Society of Nephrology (ASN), and 27 other organizations in the kidney community urged Congressional appropriators to provide emergency supplemental funding for NIDDK and KidneyX to enable a robust and appropriate response.

ASN and other organizations representing patients, health professionals, and industry stakeholders across the spectrum of kidney care urged Appropriations leadership to support $100 million in emergency supplemental funding for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and $200 million for KidneyX to meet the unique challenges facing people with kidney diseases for the current COVID-19 crisis and future crises.

The letter highlights that people with kidney diseases are among the most vulnerable to infectious diseases and that there is mounting evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 virus causes kidney injury. While NIDDK has identified several research opportunities on COVID-19’s impact on the kidney and people with kidney disease, NIDDK has not received emergency supplemental funding from Congressional Appropriators in previous Congressional relief packages directed at COVID-19. Currently COVID-19 related research funded by NIDDK is funded out of previously obligated Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations, rededicating funds from crucial ongoing or planned kidney research priorities. ASN’s $100 million request for emergency supplemental funds for NIDDK mirrors emergency funding that Congress provided to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in the CARES Act to study questions of similar urgency.

The letter highlights that the accelerated development of novel therapies, specifically the artificial kidney, could mitigate many of the challenges faced by people with kidney diseases during the COVID-19 crises. An artificial kidney could allow patients to safely receive care at home, mitigate hemodialysis supply shortages like the one experienced by New York, and make “our kidney health system more resilient to future pandemics, natural disasters, and other crises.” KidneyX’s Redesign Dialysis prize competition is catalyzing the development of wearable or implantable artificial kidney technologies that with appropriate support could be ready for regulatory consideration within 3 years. The letter urges Congress to provide $200 million to KidneyX in emergency supplemental funding to catalyze the development of an artificial kidney. Such funding would allow initiative to provide prize purses of $50 million, sufficient enough to draw the attention of private investors.

The request to Congress demonstrates the significant support in the kidney community for innovation and discovery to combat COVID-19 and future crises. Join ASN in calling for Congress to support kidney patients by accelerating much-needed research and innovation. Easily contact your members of Congress today by taking action on the ASN website. You will be directed to a short pre-composed letter addressed to your Congressional delegation.

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Ryan Murray
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The COVID-19 pandemic is having a uniquely significant impact on the kidney community: kidney patients are at elevated risk, kidney failure is one of the consequences many people who contract COVID-19 face, and the pandemic has accelerated several trends in kidney medicine, including the prioritization of telehealth and more home-based care. Recognizing these realities, American Society of Nephrology (ASN), and 27 other organizations in the kidney community urged Congressional appropriators to provide emergency supplemental funding for NIDDK and KidneyX to enable a robust and appropriate response.

ASN and other organizations representing patients, health professionals, and industry stakeholders across the spectrum of kidney care urged Appropriations leadership to support $100 million in emergency supplemental funding for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and $200 million for KidneyX to meet the unique challenges facing people with kidney diseases for the current COVID-19 crisis and future crises.

The letter highlights that people with kidney diseases are among the most vulnerable to infectious diseases and that there is mounting evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 virus causes kidney injury. While NIDDK has identified several research opportunities on COVID-19’s impact on the kidney and people with kidney disease, NIDDK has not received emergency supplemental funding from Congressional Appropriators in previous Congressional relief packages directed at COVID-19. Currently COVID-19 related research funded by NIDDK is funded out of previously obligated Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations, rededicating funds from crucial ongoing or planned kidney research priorities. ASN’s $100 million request for emergency supplemental funds for NIDDK mirrors emergency funding that Congress provided to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in the CARES Act to study questions of similar urgency.

The letter highlights that the accelerated development of novel therapies, specifically the artificial kidney, could mitigate many of the challenges faced by people with kidney diseases during the COVID-19 crises. An artificial kidney could allow patients to safely receive care at home, mitigate hemodialysis supply shortages like the one experienced by New York, and make “our kidney health system more resilient to future pandemics, natural disasters, and other crises.” KidneyX’s Redesign Dialysis prize competition is catalyzing the development of wearable or implantable artificial kidney technologies that with appropriate support could be ready for regulatory consideration within 3 years. The letter urges Congress to provide $200 million to KidneyX in emergency supplemental funding to catalyze the development of an artificial kidney. Such funding would allow initiative to provide prize purses of $50 million, sufficient enough to draw the attention of private investors.

The request to Congress demonstrates the significant support in the kidney community for innovation and discovery to combat COVID-19 and future crises. Join ASN in calling for Congress to support kidney patients by accelerating much-needed research and innovation. Easily contact your members of Congress today by taking action on the ASN website. You will be directed to a short pre-composed letter addressed to your Congressional delegation.

Date:
Wednesday, May 20, 2020