DaVita® Medical Insights

Kidney X Phase 1 Winners Announced

The Kidney Innovation Accelerator (KidneyX) initiative, which launched in late October 2018 by a partnership between the American Society of Nephrology and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has a mission to support innovative strategies for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease. KidneyX incents individuals, teams or organizations to develop new or improved mechanisms to care for the world’s 850 million affected by kidney disease. With substantial financial prizes and additional support, KidneyX aims to attract participants with applicable technologies, concepts or expertise from domains not previously applied to kidney disease.

KidneyX is deploying several competitions. The first, Redesign Dialysis, focused on the development and commercialization of next-generation dialysis products. Redesign Dialysis offers a total prize of more than $2.6 million, includes two phases and seeks solutions that help replicate kidney functions, improve patient quality of life, improve kidney replacement therapy access and strengthen safety monitoring functions. Phase one concluded Feb. 28, 2019, and 15 winners were awarded prizes of $75,000 each. The following Phase 1 winners and their solutions were announced April 29-30, 2019, at the Inaugural KidneyX Summit and then posted on the HHS website:

  • Access for Life, Inc. “JEM™ – Sensor Enabled Hemodialysis”
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Biosurfaces, Inc. “Drug-Eluting Electrospun Hemodialysis Graft”
  • Binnovate Digital Health BV. “RenalTracker”
  • Curion Research Corporation, University of California Los Angeles, and University of Arkansas. “Development of a Dialysate- and Cell-Free Renal Replacement Technology”
  • Miromatrix Medical, Inc. “New Kidney Grafts”
  • Mount Sinai Renal Research Institute. “Improving Intra-Dialytic Removal of Protein-Bound Uremic Toxin Removal Using Binding Competitors”
  • Outset Medical, Inc. “Development of an Automated Multimodal Sensor to Improve Patient Outcomes in Hemodialysis”
  • Qidni Labs, Inc. “Air Removal System for a Wearable Renal Therapy Device”
  • Stanford University. “Fluo Medical – A Non-Invasive Device for Monitoring Fistula Maturation”
  • Stanford University. “Utilizing Optical Interrogation Methods for Early Diagnosis of Peritonitis in Peritoneal Dialysis Patients”
  • Temple University. “Atomically Precise Membranes (APM) for High-Flux and Selective Removal of Blood Toxins”
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham. “A Non-Invasive, Wearable Telehealth Device to Detect Thrombosis and Monitor Vascular Access Health of Arteriovenous Fistulas and Grafts in Hemodialysis Patients”
  • University of California San Francisco, Vanderbilt University, and Silicon Kidney. “Intracorporeal Ultrafiltration System & Intracorporeal Hemodialysis System”
  • University of Michigan. “Nitric Oxide-Eluting, Disposable Hemodialysis Catheter Insert to Prevent Infection and Thrombosis”
  • University of Washington, Center for Dialysis Innovation. “The Ambulatory Kidney to Improve Vitality (AKTIV) & Rethinking Dialysis Vascular Access”

Phase two of Redesign Dialysis, which asked for the demonstration of a prototype solution or component, began April 30 and will start accepting submissions in the fall of 2019. Phase 2 concludes Jan. 31, 2020, and up to three winners will be awarded $500,000 each. Phase 2 winners will be announced on March 27, 2020. Participants did not have to participate in phase one to compete in phase two. KidneyX plans to launch a patient-focused competition in the near future that will award patients for innovative approaches to their own therapies.

To learn more about KidneyX, visit kidneyx.org.

Mahesh Krishnan, MD, MPH, MBA, FASN

Mahesh Krishnan, MD, MPH, MBA, FASN

Mahesh Krishnan, MD, is the chief medical officer of DaVita International and group vice president of research and development. Before joining DaVita, Dr. Krishnan served as medical director and global development leader for Amgen’s ESA Epogen, where he played a key role in discussions with the FDA and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. He was also the head of global health economics for nephrology at Amgen and executive director of medical policy for all Amgen projects. He currently serves on the editorial board of Nephrology News and Issues, has written two books and has more than 50 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Krishnan earned his medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University and completed his internal medicine training at Georgetown and nephrology fellowship at Johns Hopkins. He also holds a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA in medical services management from the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business.