On December 3, the KidneyX team discussed the competition’s goal to accelerate innovative treatments for kidney failure and advanced chronic kidney disease. The speakers included:

  • John Sedor, M.D., Cleveland Clinic; ASN Fellow and KidneyX Steering Committee Chair
  • Anne Rohall, J.D., KidneyX Project Director, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Mark Lim, Ph.D., Vice President of Research, Discovery, and Innovation, American Society of Nephrology (ASN) 

Following the presentation, the KidneyX team answered questions from the audience. Watch the session recording and read on for highlights from the live event. A summary of questions and answers will be published soon.

Millions of people are waiting for a breakthrough in treatment

37 million Americans and more than 850 million people worldwide live with kidney disease. Current treatment methods have changed very little in recent decades and cost the U.S. more than $100 billion per year.

“Not everybody who has kidney failure is eligible for a kidney transplant, and dialysis has not changed significantly over the last 60 years. The mortality rate for people that are on dialysis is roughly 40% within the first three years of treatment. We’re really looking for innovative, long-lasting solutions to address the needs for this population. Kidneys are incredibly complex organs — there are at least 26 different cell types, and more are being discovered.”
John Sedor, M.D.

Advancing innovation through multidisciplinary teams

Success in the Artificial Kidney Prize will require a breadth of expertise, and KidneyX encourages entrants to consider collaborating with each other or expanding existing teams. 

“Across the phases, we’re looking to advance wearable, implantable, bioengineered xenotransplant or chimera solutions — or even other approaches that aren’t yet conceived. Your approaches to this aren’t limited by any notions that we have now. We know that this will require a broad range of multidisciplinary innovators to collaboratively develop solutions for replicating kidney function, so we’re striving to bring in cross-disciplinary and multinational innovators that can look at the challenges in creating artificial kidneys from unique perspectives.”
John Sedor, M.D.

The growing KidneyX solver community includes experts in blood filtration, regenerative technologies, and sensors. The full list of solvers and contact information will be shared regularly with community members throughout the competition to help entrants make new connections. Join the solver community.

Enter the Artificial Kidney Prize

The Artificial Kidney Prize is open to both U.S. and international entrants, subject to eligibility requirements. The first phase seeks component or integrated prototype solutions that enable and advance the functionality, effectiveness, and/or reliability of artificial kidneys. Entrants are encouraged to address one or more priority topic areas; however, the competition remains open to solutions that advance artificial kidneys in other ways. 

Submissions are due by March 24. The judging panel will recommend up to eight winners, and up to $4 million in Phase 1 prizes will be distributed at the discretion of HHS and ASN.

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