HHS & ASN Partnering on Kidney X

For the past 50 years, advances in treatments for kidney diseases and kidney failure have been modest with few major innovations reaching people who live with kidney disease. Several barriers may be limiting kidney health innovation such as the lack of capital, risks associated with early-stage R&D, and low levels of meaningful input from other medical, scientific, or technological fields.

The “Kidney Innovation Accelerator” (Kidney X) established last April is a public-private partnership between Health and Human Services (HHS) https://www.hhs.gov/idealab/kidneyx and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) https://www.asn-online.org.

The Kidney X program is looking to improve the lives of the 850 million people currently affected worldwide by accelerating the development of drugs, devices, biologics, and other therapies across the spectrum of kidney care.

The Kidney X program is going to sponsor a series of prize competitions starting October 2018. The prize competitions are going to support companies, teams, or innovators that have promising solutions that will bring breakthrough therapies to patients by enabling patients to have access to disruptive technologies developed using competitive merit-based prize funding.

Since innovators often lack experience in product commercialization, the prize competitions are going to help prize winners receive input and feedback from patients, investors, businesses, and manufacturing experts, scientists, engineers, and others as needed.

In addition, innovators will connect with government agencies such as FDA, CMS and NIH to receive feedback from these agencies early in the product develop process as to existing regulatory pathways.

Future Kidney X prize competitions will cover a range of topics and may include:

  • Research on effective medications
  • Develop of point-of-care or at-home testing kits
  • Develop of patient centered tools, such as EHR tools designed to identify and track diseases
  • Develop the next generation dialysis that perhaps could be wearable or implantable dialyzers
  • Identify more effective methods to identify people at risk of developing kidney diseases
  • Develop methods to slow the progression of those with early stage or chronic kidney disease


For more information on the HHS Ideal Lab program within the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, go to https://www.hhs.gov/idealab/ignite-accelerator. For the current release of two Kidney X RFIs, go to https://www.hhs.gov/idealab/kidneyx.

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