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KidneyX: A new wave of innovation to treat kidney disease

KidneyX will create a sense of urgency in the innovator community by spotlighting the immediate needs of patients and their families.

My mother relied on dialysis for 14 years. From her first day to her last, little changed in her treatment. We would hardly tolerate such stagnation in our smartphones or cancer treatments. The American taxpayer is billed annually $35 billion for a decades old technology with mortality rates higher than most cancers; the current standard of care simply isn’t acceptable.

HHS, in partnership with the American Society of Nephrology, seeks to change the paradigm by bringing to life the Kidney Innovation Accelerator, or KidneyX.

KidneyX is designed to accelerate the development of drugs, devices, biologics and digital health tools spanning prevention, diagnostics, and treatment with the aim of giving patients with renal failure better treatment options and ultimately, to reduce the need for dialysis.  

HHS CTO Bruce Greenstein explains the importance of KidneyX

More specifically, KidneyX will:

Create a sense of urgency. For too long we’ve resigned to accept the status quo for the treatment of kidney disease. KidneyX will create a sense of urgency in the innovator community by spotlighting the immediate needs of patients and their families.

Drive the accelerated development and commercialization of disruptive technologies in the kidney space.  Early-stage health startups in the kidney diseases world often struggle to raise funding at translational stages, particularly those who seek to adapt innovations from other domains. KidneyX will direct public-private awards that specifically match needs of patients and healthcare systems to the innovation skills of entrepreneurs.

Provide better coordination among HHS and its agencies. Innovators currently experience a disjointed and expensive path to bring products and practices to market. KidneyX has brought together stakeholders across our funding (National Institutes of Health), regulatory (Food and Drug Administration), and payment (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) roles to present a more coherent and transparent path for innovators.

Let’s imagine a world in which kidney disease patients and their caregivers can still live meaningful, productive lives. A world in which patients may no longer even need dialysis.

Everything we do begins and ends with patients. KidneyX is no different, with patients and innovators working side by side to usher in a new generation of innovation for those suffering from kidney diseases.

We’re planning to announce the first prize competition and open the application door in 2018. Stay tuned. Visit KidneyX.org to learn more and to sign up for updates.

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