Today, July 22nd, a virtual summit was hosted by KidneyX to announce the six winners of the Redesign Dialysis Phase 2 prize. The goal of the Redesign Dialysis prize is to provide prize money for novel ideas and innovations that will lead to better outcomes for people with kidney diseases and eventually to a truly artificial kidney. The eventual artificial kidney and innovations made along the way will lead to better outcomes for individuals with kidney diseases and improve their quality of life by bypassing in-center hemodialysis.
The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and other members of the kidney community met with Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex M. Azar II and other top HHS officials in a roundtable on Friday, February 1 to discuss value-based kidney care transformation.
During the meeting, Secretary Azar, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) and Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Value-based Transformation and Innovation Director Adam Boehler, Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett P. Giroir, MD, and Chief Technology Officer Ed Simcox, underscored the administration’s interest in improving the lives of people with kidney diseases, including efforts to increase access to transplantation. ASN underscored the society’s gratitude for their interest in transforming kidney care delivery for the 40 million Americans with kidney diseases and, together with the other participants, a strong willingness to work collaboratively to achieve shared goals.
Announced on October 7th, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was jointly awarded to a trio of scientists, William G. Kaelin Jr., Peter J. Ratcliffe, and Gregg L. Semenza, for their work on “how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability,” The New York Times reports.
These “investigators uncovered detailed genetic responses to changing oxygen levels that allow cells in the bodies of humans and other animals sense and respond to fluctuations, increasing and decreasing how much oxygen they receive.”
Announced July 25, Dr. Reshma Kewalramani will be promoted to president and CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals. She is currently the chief medical officer for the company and was previously a practicing nephrologist who earned her medical doctorate at Boston University and trained at Bigham & Women’s Hospital.
Dr. Kewalramani will be the first woman to run a large biotechnology firm. Vortex’s share price “rose 360% and its sales doubled to $3 billion annually” under the previous CEO, largely due the company’s pharmaceuticals used to treat cystic fibrosis.
The Coronavirus – 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is unmasking the shortcomings of in-center hemodialysis for people with kidney failure. Individuals with kidney failure who rely on in-center dialysis do not have the luxury of social distancing during a pandemic. In-center dialysis exposes people with kidney failure and healthcare workers to potential infection. Additionally, in-center hemodialysis patients are exposed to other discomforts and inconveniences associated with strict infection control and isolation policies necessitated by emergencies like pandemics.
With the aid of patients, care partners, and multiple academic, private, and public communities, the Kidney Health Initiative’s newly developed technology roadmap is catalyzing innovative approaches to kidney replacement therapy (KRT). The roadmap provides guidance for innovators and entrepreneurs who are working to redesign dialysis and provide better care for those with kidney disease.
The Kidney Health Initiative (KHI) hosted a stimulating session entitled, “The Time Is Now: Using Partnerships to Spur Innovation” which described some lessons on bringing communities from the perspective of the US Food and Drug Administration and KHI.
The KidneyX Summit kicked off on April 29, 2019, with opening remarks by ASN President Mark Rosenberg, MD, FASN, who outlined how KidneyX is filling a much-needed gap in kidney care and will act as a catalyst to spur innovation in the space. Held at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC, the summit will continue on April 30 with congressional perspectives; the role of NIH, FDA, and payors; and the nephrology investment landscape.
The winners of the KidneyX Patient Innovator Challenge, funded by the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), were announced by Deputy Secretary of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Eric Hargan, on Thursday March 26 during NKF’s live-virtual 2020 Spring Clinical Meeting.