The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) have announced six winners in Phase 1 of the KidneyX Artificial Kidney Prize. The Phase 1 submissions proposed projects that miniaturize and optimize technologies for toxin removal and volume control, new approaches to move xenotransplantation closer to human trials, and cellular engineering platforms that more closely replicate human kidney function.

Treatment methods for kidney diseases have not changed significantly in more than 60 years. Through the KidneyX public-private partnership, HHS and ASN are transforming treatment for the more than 850 million people worldwide — including 37 million Americans — living with kidney diseases. 

Congratulations to the winners, who each received $650,000:

  • David Cooper, University of Alabama. Genetically engineered pig kidneys that will reduce rejection possibility while providing more viable donor kidneys.
  • imec USA Nanoelectronics Design Center. Miniature, wireless toxin-removal system for implantable, wearable, portable, or bedside artificial kidneys.
  • Makana Therapeutics. Genetically engineered pig kidneys that will increase the supply of transplantable organs by eliminating the antibody barrier to xenotransplantation.
  • University of California San Francisco. Implantable bioartificial kidney that allows for continuous blood processing and direction of waste to the bladder while providing freedom of movement.
  • University of Washington Center for Dialysis Innovation. Wearable continuous-hemodialysis device that allows for greater freedom of movement.
  • US Kidney Research Corporation. Wearable artificial kidney that does not need water to conduct filtration, drastically reducing the weight of the device.

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