Optimism Abound for the Next Generation of Kidney Care

November 2, 2018

The future of kidney care is coming sooner than you think.

Through a groundbreaking public-private partnership, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) launched the Kidney Innovation Accelerator (KidneyX) in April to much fanfare. In order to better address the healthcare needs of 850 million people living with kidney diseases worldwide, KidneyX will kickstart the development of new medications, medical devices, digital health tools, and other products.

KidneyX represents a substantial step forward for the 40 million Americans with kidney disease—including nearly 700,000 living with kidney failure. By seeding and accelerating innovations, KidneyX will drive new breakthroughs in kidney care for many years to come.

KidneyX will revolutionize kidney care by incentivizing the development of new products spanning the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney diseases.

For too long, there has been a lack of major breakthroughs in any of these key areas. While kidney patients are fortunately living longer today than ever before, they deserve new forms of care that are even more effective, more convenient, more accessible, and more affordable. Since kidney disease is an overlooked epidemic in the United States and around the world, KidneyX will usher in a new area of patient-centered care by encouraging stakeholders in all sectors to collaborate together to develop and commercialize scientifically-driven technological solutions.

KCP recently joined nearly 40 stakeholders from across the kidney care community in commending HHS for working to boost innovation and investment in new therapies to fight kidney disease. In a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, the kidney care community praised KidneyX for its “patient-centered focus on engaging a community of researchers, innovators, investors, and other stakeholders, while seeding promising companies will enable and accelerate the commercialization of therapies to benefit people with and at risk for kidney diseases.”

Moreover, KCP and the other signatories emphasized the importance of KidneyX in breaking down key barriers to kidney care which have historically included a dearth of innovation and bundled payment systems that disincentivize new research and development projects. By driving private sector investment into new, more effective pathways for kidney care, patients will enjoy improved health outcomes, while payers such as Medicare will reap the benefits of getting more bang for the buck, saving taxpayers billions.

Just as new solutions are urgently needed, new solutions are quickly coming on the horizon. On October 25, KidneyX will launch the first round of prize funding through its Redesign Dialysis Prize competition, which will award over $2.6 million in funding to bold thinkers who design significant new alternatives to dialysis.

KCP wholeheartedly welcomes this initiative and is looking forward to the next generation of kidney care!