Newswise — Washington, DC (April 26, 2018) –The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) is pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish the Kidney Innovation Accelerator (KidneyX). KidneyX will spur the development and commercialization of innovative technologies and therapeutics in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney diseases.   

 "By launching KidneyX, ASN and HHS have sent a clear signal that the kidney space is ripe for accelerating innovation in the fight against kidney diseases. KidneyX will serve as that catalyst while encouraging the venture capital community that has previously been reluctant to invest in kidney therapeutics to revisit it as a target for potential investments,” said ASN President Mark D. Okusa, MD, FASN.

More than 40 million Americans live with kidney diseases and 700,000 experience kidney failure. With an aging population and rising prevalence of diabetes and hypertension, more Americans need dialysis than ever before. Despite the high and ever rising burden, patients continue to have poor treatment options.

In order to address this need while building-off the previous success of ASN’s public-private partnerships, including the Kidney Health Initiative (KHI) and Nephrologists Transforming Dialysis Safety, ASN has partnered with HHS in launching KidneyX.

KidneyX aims to prevent kidney diseases while improving the lives of the 850,000,000 people worldwide who are currently affected by accelerating innovation in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney diseases. KidneyX will address the barriers innovators commonly identify as they look to bring new drugs and technologies in kidney care to market by:

  • Providing merit-based, non-dilutive funding to promising innovators selected through a series of prize competitions;
  • Encouraging better coordination across HHS with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in order to help clarify the path toward commercialization;
  • Creating a sense of urgency to develop new therapies

With KidneyX, “HHS sends an important message to investors and innovators regarding the desire and demand for new therapies,” said HHS Chief Technology Officer Bruce D. Greenstein, who announced HHS’s commitment to launching KidneyX in partnership with ASN and the broader medical community at ASN Kidney Week 2017.

KHI’s Development of a Roadmap for Innovations in Renal Replacement Therapy project will serve as a foundation for KidneyX’s first round of prize funding on accelerating the commercialization of next-generation dialysis products. The KHI project aims to describe scientific, technical, and regulatory milestones needed to achieve the goal of creating a bioartificial or bioengineered alternative to dialysis.


KidneyX will accept applications for its first round of prize funding in 2018. Individuals that are interested in learning more about KidneyX are encouraged to visit, and join our mailing list.



Since 1966, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) has been leading the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world by educating health professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge, and advocating for the highest quality care for patients. ASN has nearly 18,000 members representing 112 countries. For more information, please visit or contact us at 202-640-4660.

# # #