The Kidney Innovation Accelerator (KidneyX) is a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) to accelerate innovation in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney diseases.
An estimated 850 million people worldwide are living with kidney disease. KidneyX seeks to improve their lives by accelerating the development of drugs, devices, biologics, and other therapies across the spectrum of kidney care. KidneyX will 'de-risk' innovation by streamlining processes, reducing regulatory barriers, and modernizing the way everyone pays for treatment. By inviting innovation from outside the government, KidneyX will stimulate and accelerate innovation through a series of cash prize competitions.
Why Kidney Care Innovation Matters
More than one in seven American adults are living with kidney disease. For people with kidney failure, the only treatment option other than a transplant is dialysis, which takes a serious toll. Dialysis patients typically spend 12 hours a week attached to a machine and their five-year life expectancy is worse than that of most cancer patients. The treatment is also extremely costly — Medicare alone spends more than $100 billion annually on kidney care, and one in five Medicare dollars are spent on dialysis.
In 2019, President Trump signed an Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health, a bold new initiative to improve the lives of Americans suffering from kidney disease, expand options for American patients, and reduce healthcare costs. The initiative provides specific solutions to deliver on three goals: fewer patients developing kidney failure, fewer Americans receiving dialysis in dialysis centers, and more kidneys available for transplant.
As part of the Advancing American Kidney Health Initiative, KidneyX launched the Artificial Kidney Prize, a competition to accelerate artificial kidney development toward human clinical trials. This multiphase competition is KidneyX’s first fully dedicated effort toward artificial kidney advancement, with initial phases offering up to $10 million in prizes. The first phase seeks solutions that enable and advance the functionality, effectiveness, and/or reliability of artificial kidneys. Phase 1 submissions are due March 24, 2021. Read the official announcement here*.
KidneyX is also accepting submissions for the COVID-19 Kidney Care Challenge. The $300,000 challenge seeks solutions that reduce the transmission of coronavirus among people living with kidney disease and/or reduce the risk of kidney damage among people who contract the virus. Round 1 submissions are due December 4, 2020. Read the official announcement here*.
The KidneyX Approach
Building off the success of similar public-private accelerators, KidneyX is engaging a community of researchers, innovators, and investors to bring breakthrough therapies to patients through:
Driving patient access to disruptive technologies via competitive, merit-based prize funding for innovators.
Providing a clearer and less expensive path for bringing products to patients and their families.
Creating a sense of urgency by spotlighting the immediate needs of patients and their families.
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