2019 KidneyX Summit Highlights Promising Future Innovations in Kidney Care

Ryan Murray
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KidneyX, a public-private partnership between the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN), aims to accelerate innovation in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney diseases.

To introduce new voices and perspectives to the kidney space and seek to improve collaboration and communication across the nephrology community, KidneyX hosted its inaugural Summit on April 29–30, 2019, in Washington, DC. The 2019 KidneyX Summit brought together insights from a variety of fields outside of the traditional nephrology community and encouraged investment partnerships for innovative solutions to improve kidney care. The summit included panel discussions with patients and innovators, as well as presentations from industry leaders and government representatives from HHS, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of the Health, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“The Department of Health and Human Services is placing an emphasis on accelerating innovation on behalf of those living with kidney diseases,” said Ed Simcox, JD, Chief Technology Officer, US Department of Health and Human Services. “My Office, the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, is uniquely suited to serve as the government partner in this public-private partnership due to its ability to convene the government’s leading scientific and medical experts (NIH), regulators (FDA), and payors (CMS).”

In addition to HHS leadership, several congressional champions of KidneyX participated in the 2019 KidneyX Summit. Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA-01) and Congressman Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN-08), both Congressional Kidney Caucus Co-Chairs, Congressman Brian Babin, DDS (R-TX-36), and Senator Todd Young (R-IN) provided remarks on KidneyX and its efforts to spur innovation and increase patient access to medical products and therapies.

The winners of KidneyX’s inaugural prize competition, Redesign Dialysis Phase I, which asked innovators to create designs of possible solutions or solution components that can replicate normal kidney functions and improve patient quality of life, provided feature presentations on their winning submissions. The following finalists were awarded at the KidneyX Summit:

  • An Air Removal System For a Wearable Renal Therapy Device, Qidni Labs, Inc.

  • The Ambulatory Kidney to Improve Vitality (AKTIV), University of Washington Center for Dialysis Innovation

  • Atomically Precise Membranes (APM) for High-Flux and Selective Removal of Blood Toxins, Temple University

  • Building New Kidneys, Miromatrix Medical Inc.

  • Development of a Dialysate- and Cell-Free Renal Replacement Technology, Curion Research Corporation, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and University of Arkansas

  • Development of an Automated Multimodal Sensor to Improve Patient Outcomes in Hemodialysis, Outset Medical, Inc.

  • Digitally-Delivered Behavior Change Program to Help Patients Delay Dialysis, RenalTracker

  • Displacer-Enhanced Hemodialysis: Improving The Intradialytic Removal of Protein-Bound Uremic Toxins Using Binding Competitors, Renal Research Institute LLC

  • Drug-Eluting Electrospun Hemodialysis Graft, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and BioSurfaces, LLC

  • Fluo Medical Fistula Monitoring Device, Sanford Byers Center for Biodesign

  • Intracorporeal Hemodialysis System, Silicon Kidney, University of California—San Francisco, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

  • JEM—Sensor Enabled Hemodialysis, Access for Life, Inc.

  • Nitric Oxide-Eluting, Disposable Hemodialysis Catheter Insert to Prevent Infection and Thrombosis, University of Michigan Medical School

  • A Non-Invasive, Wearable Telehealth Device To Detect Thrombosis And Monitor Vascular Access Health of Arteriovenous Fistulas And Grafts In Hemodialysis Patients, The University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • Utilizing Optical Interrogation Methods for Early Diagnosis of Peritonitis in Peritoneal Dialysis Patients, Stanford University

The finalists, honorable mentions, and submissions that were granted permission to be posted online can be viewed on www.KidneyX.org.

“Kidney diseases remain in the shadows but are common, debilitating, and burdensome on patients, their families, and the economy,” said John Sedor, MD, FASN, ASN KidneyX chair. “Unless and until we drive investment and innovation and open the pathways to commercialization for new technologies and therapies, we will live with the status quo. We can no longer wait. KidneyX is the spark to catalyze change.”

Both the quality and quantity of submissions KidneyX received for Redesign Dialysis Phase I demonstrate there are great solutions to allow kidney health professionals to provide better therapies to their patients. KidneyX looks forward to seeing more innovative solutions to disrupt kidney care in future KidneyX prize competitions.

KidneyX also announced new prize competitions at the Summit. Redesign Dialysis Phase II, the second phase of KidneyX’s inaugural prize competition, asks innovators to develop and demonstrate prototype solutions and was announced at the Summit. Recognizing that patients have innovative approaches to their own therapies, KidneyX also launched its Patient Innovators prize competition. The announcements for both new KidneyX prize competitions can be viewed in their entirety on www.KidneyX.org.

In addition to launching its Patient Innovators prize competition, KidneyX aims to create a better collaborative relationship among patients and innovators. In each prize competition, innovators are asked that their submissions provide sufficient detail and information showing the nature and extent of anticipated benefit(s) to patients, including:

  • Demonstrating efforts to incorporate patient feedback into the design

  • Addressing one or more opportunities to improve a patient’s quality of life

As many applicants will likely be entering the kidney space for the first time and will not have direct access to patients, KidneyX developed a list of contacts at reliable partner patient organizations who could help identify patients interested in providing direct feedback to KidneyX applicants. The following organizations serve as KidneyX partner patient organizations:

  • American Association of Kidney Patients

  • Home Dialyzors United

  • IGA Nephropathy Foundation of America, Inc.

  • National Kidney Foundation

  • Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation

  • PKD Foundation

Kidney patient organizations interested in serving as a resource that can assist in patient engagement for KidneyX applicants are encouraged to email KidneyX@asn-online.org.