According to recent estimates, 14 percent of the US population suffers from chronic kidney diseases and kidney failure. The federal government reports that Medicare spends over $120 billion per year treating patients with these conditions. The predominant treatment for end-stage kidney disease is hemodialysis, which in the US often requires multiple visits each week to a dialysis center for treatments lasting 3 to 4 hours—placing a substantial burden on patients and their care partners.
KidneyX, also called the Kidney Innovation Accelerator, is a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN). The HHS divisions participating in KidneyX include the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Established in April 2018, KidneyX aims to use prize competitions to accelerate the development of innovative solutions that can prevent, diagnose, and/or treat kidney diseases. KidneyX aims to promote collaboration between patients, health professionals, innovators, industry, and government with the ultimate goal of improving quality of life for people living with kidney diseases. To do this, KidneyX is fund promising innovators through a series of innovation prize competitions, where it solicits breakthrough concepts, ideas, and approaches to treating and eventually curing kidney disease. KidneyX is also improving coordination across the HHS agencies, including CMS, FDA, and NIH, to clarify the path toward commercialization and patient access to new kidney technologies, and plays a key role supporting the 2019 Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health.
Dr. John Sedor of the Cleveland Clinic, a recognized leader in nephrology and kidney care and chair of the KidneyX Steering Committee, will discuss the development and activities of the KidneyX initiative. He will describe in particular two current prize challenges: the COVID-19 Kidney Care Challenge to fund and promote ways to protect kidney patients from the novel coronavirus, and the Artificial Kidney Prize, a multi-phase competition that will award up to $10 million in prize funding for technologies that will spur the development of an artificial kidney.